COVID-19 has thrown a wet blanket on cinema worldwide, just as much on Pakistan’s cinema industry, which had just learnt how to get back on its own two feet. The year 2020 was expected to be a big one, with more than 30 releases, almost a dozen of them big budget. One of them was Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s Quaid e Azam Zindabad, starring the hotly anticipated pairing of Fahad Mustafa and Mahira Khan in the lead, scheduled for an Eid ul Azha release as is tradition with Nabeel Qureshi films. But will it be possible?
Nabeel Qureshi, from the series of pictures he and Fahad Mustafa went posting on social media yesterday, seem optimistic.
That's how we roll … Preparing for some action packed sequence … With @fahadmustafa26 @TheMahiraKhan kudos to them & the whole crew for doing some fearless action sequence… #quaideazamzindabad #qaz #filmwalapictures can't wait to show it to our audience !! pic.twitter.com/Oy0KMQYGj0
— Nabeel Qureshi (@nabeelqureshi) May 2, 2020
“Scary days,” Fahad Mustafa responded to Nabeel’s tweet. “Look at me in the air. What was I thinking?”
“Those were good days. Scary days to ab hain, bhai,” Nabeel responded.
If you haven’t noticed, that’s Fahad dangling in mid-air in that shot, which appears to be a shoot out scene filmed in Karachi. He’s rumoured to play a corrupt cop, the Quaid e Azam reference being to illegally acquired wealth.
Fahad also put this image on Instagram, hashtagging it #comingsoon, which has left fans in a flurry of excitement. Will QAZ actually be able to release soon, as on Eid ul Azha, which falls approximately on July 30 this year?
From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem possible. The world is still struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected around 3.4 million people worldwide, causing over 244,000 deaths as of today. Pakistan’s numbers are smaller in comparison but are also on the rise. Will the curve flatten in time for cinemas to open with the required SOPs. We hope so.
And maybe both Nabeel and Fahad know something we don’t know.