To take chances in films is certainly an act of bravery especially in an emerging industry like Pakistan, however, resilient filmmakers like Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy take these risks and as a result of their passionate work, animated films like 3 Bahadur are made.
3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors is the third instalment of the trilogy which features new characters of Erma, played by Mehwish Hayat and Babushka played by Nimra Bucha. The plot of the film revolves around three children; Saadi (Zuhab Khan), Amna (Muneeba Yaseen) and Kamil (Bashar Amir Shafi) who fight the odds to restore justice in their once booming community. Erma and Babushka have travelled to earth and are playing pivotal roles in the animated film. The film made by Waadi Animations is a joint venture of ARY Films and SOC Films.
During a press meet for the film, director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy shared what motivated her to make animated films in Pakistan. “When we released the first film it broke all box office records in the market, it became the highest grossing animated film, beating all English language films. That is when we realized that there is a market. Children wanted to see themselves on the big screen.”
Animated films are still in its infancy stage in Pakistan so we asked Sharmeen how an animated film’s budget is recovered. “I will be honest with you, you don’t recover money on an animated film. It is very, very difficult. You have to find ways of sponsorships, you have to find ways of grants, you have to supplement that because the way our cinema industry is structured right now; 50% of the money goes to the cinema, then it goes to the distributor and whatever you are left with can barely cover your cost. So, you roll one film into another film, into another and hope that it catches up and that you are able to make ends meet. And there will come a day. But right now, that is not the case. But we do know, with more screens coming up, there will be a greater opportunity to recover your money.”
The two-time Academy Award winner added that her generation grew up watching children’s programs on PTV, however, today there are hundreds of local channels but none that cater to children. “The thing is we need our children to have their own superheroes. When they grow up and say ‘Oh I learnt this from Erma’, just like our children watch Dora or Ben 10 or Power Puff Girls. Now, they have Amna or Erma.”
When asked how she decided that Mehwish was the perfect fit for the character, Sharmeen said, “I had seen her on the big screen and I remember saying to myself ‘uff, she would be good’ because Mehwish has spunk. I could envision her to be this superhero. When we were designing the character of Erma; she has red hair, body armour and all of that. I said that there’s one way to get her, design it and send it to her. When she saw it she said ‘yes, how can I say no’.”
Having five films to her name so far, Mehwish has marked her debut as a voice-over actor with this movie. How different or rather difficult is it to work as a voice cast? “From the looks of it, it appears to be easy; that it’s a piece of cake. But it is not. To put life into the actions and reactions of an animated character through your voice, it’s not that easy. It was challenging but I had a lot of fun doing it because it was something I had not done before,” she said during an exclusive chat with Something Haute.
Talking about her character, Mehwish stated that Erma has different shades to her personality. “She is not a through and through superhero. She has a lot of shades of grey. There are several phases and dimensions to her character which is very filmy which children and their parents will enjoy.”
The film is slated for release on the 14th December and will be the last of the 3 Bahadur franchise. Watch the trailer for the upcoming film and let us know what you think: