Last year was a lukewarm year for Pakistani films, with a couple of big releases but not enough to contribute to the overall success and maintenance of cinemas. We were expecting 2020 to be much better but then things took a turn for the worse and cinema halls shut down all over the world.
Celebrating films of 2019, therefore, must have been pretty simple. Films like Baaji brought Meera back to the limelight, Parey Hut Love and Superstar were declared the biggest commercial hits of the year whereas no one film got as much critical acclaim as Laal Kabootar, which was also selected as Pakistan’s official submission for the Oscars. And there were some surprises.
Let’s take a look…
- Baaji – Produced by Saqib Malik at Page 33 Films
- Laal Kabootar – Produced by Hania Chima and Kamil Chima
- Parey Hut Love – Produced by Asim Raza and Sheheryar Munawar at The Vision Factory Films
- Ready Steady No! – Produced by Hisham Bin Munawar
- Superstar – Produced by Momina Duraid at MD Productions
Real, raw and gritty, Laal Kabootar should be able walk away with the trophy though Parey Hut Love and Superstar will give it tough competition as far as numbers go.
Best Film Director
- Asim Raza for Parey Hut Love
- Hisham Bin Munawar for Ready Steady No!
- Kamal Khan for Laal Kabootar
- Mohammad Ehteshamuddin for Superstar
- Saqib Malik for Baaji
Again, we’re looking at Laal Kabootar for Kamal Khan’s crisp direction but then Asim Raza did paint a gorgeous canvas for his film. Either way, we won’t complain.
Best Film Actor (Viewer’s Choice & Critics Choice)
- Ahmed Ali Akbar for Laal Kabootar
- Nadeem Baig for Superstar
- Rashid Farooqui for Laal Kabootar
- Salman Shahid for Ready Steady No.
- Sheheryar Munawar for Parey Hut Love
Ahmed Ali Akbar should easily win the Critic’s Choice for Laal Kabootar whereas it’s highly probable that Sheheryar Munawer will pick up the Viewer’s Choice Award. In the absence of a category for Supporting Actors, the LSAs have lumped all good performances together but it’s not fair. Lead actors carry the film whereas supporting actors play a much smaller role.
Best Film Actress (Viewer’s Choice & Critics Choice)
- Amna Ilyas for Baaji
- Mahira Khan for Superstar
- Mansha Pasha for Laal Kabootar
- Maya Ali for Parey Hut Love
- Meera for Baaji
Can Meera win for playing herself? Amna Ilyas was very strong on screen, as was Mansha Pasha. Maya completely reinvented herself but let’s be fair, it was Mahira who carried Superstar with a stellar performance. She should easily pick this one up.
Best Playback Singer (Film)
- Ali Sethi for Bekaraan from Superstar
- Ali Tariq for Behka Na from Parey Hut Love
- Jabbar Abbas for Jugart from Laal Kabootar
- Mai Dhai for Raag Murli from Laal Kabootar
- Zeb Bangash for Gudi Wang from from Baaji
That’s four really strong soundtracks and some really glaring snubs, like Asim Azhar’s ‘Ghalat Fehmi’ from Superstar, or Jimmy Khan’s ‘Haye Dil Bechara,’ without doubt two of the strongest songs of the year. But while Superstar and Parey Hut Love had enjoyable songs, the Laal Kabootar and Baaji OSTs were unique and more experimental.
- Watch this space for more on the LSA nominations…