W ith so much uncertainty engulfing us, much thanks to the pandemic which refuses to call it quits, it comes as a major win to see our entertainment industry on its toes to keep our sanity intact with mega projects in the pipeline- some of which are finally seeing the light of day and this is making us ecstatic! One such highly anticipated project was the Mohib Mirza-Sanam Saeed starrer ‘Ishrat Made In China’. After much Covid-induced delays, this mega entertainer is finally here, bringing together major stars including designer-turned-actor Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY), Sara Loren, Ali Kazmi, Shamoon Abbasi and more. The film tugs on all major aspects including comedy, romance and action, serving as a full-rounder on blockbuster entertainment. In cinemas now, the film has Mohib Mirza not just in the lead but the talented artist is also serving as the director and producer on the project. In an exclusive conversation with Social Diary, he spoke on all that went down in creating this major project which is already winning hearts with its catchy musical tunes, well-scripted characters, spellbinding action scenes, among other things. Let’s hear from the maestro on how Ishrat Made in China has finally arrived !
SD: First things first, when did you know you wanted to create a full feature film from the cult-classic television show ‘Ishrat Baji’?i
Mohib: It was always my vision. I knew that when I would make a movie, it would be targeting the masses.I was aiming for the commercial aspect of it as well. That being said, I also wanted to create something that is giving an integral message to the youth. I think me and my team have tried our very best to present a major ball of entertainment which is fun-filled with plenty of songs and has laughter and action all in the mix!
SD: The movie has an amazing vibe to it-did you always planned to bring action and comedy together on such a major platform?
Mohib: It was a long time back that the thought came to me how you have feature films created from popular sitcoms, and how I should be aiming for something of the sorts. And pretty soon it evolved into a complete feature film script and that is how my journey on this mega project began.
SD: You have literally taken on every role for this project-from directing to acting, which was the most difficult and what remains most memorable?
Mohib: There’s no denying that my most challenging role was as a director because I did have a star cast for the movie that came onboard and it was my aim to keep everything in a good stride, ensuring that the whole team is happy, including myself.
SD:How did the pandemic slow down the production process?
Mohib: Due to the pandemic we had faced so much lagging especially during the post-production phase since most of the shooting was already done with. However, slowly and steady, we continued working. And eventually the time came when we attained what we had set out to seek. Now we just want the audience to enjoy the movie at the cinemas.
SD: Everyone is looking up to this movie so it can counteract the damaging blow to the Pakistani film industry . Do you feel the pressure to deliver?
Mohib: Honestly I didn’t dive into this project with the notion as to how it will be giving a boost to the industry. But having said that I am confident it will be making an impact and people will not be disappointed as I know how hard everyone has worked on every aspect of the film so if it does give a nudge to our industry, allowing people to indulge in entertainment arising from our very own country.
SD: Is it true you had designed a role especially for HSY? Did you also create any other specific characters with actors in mind?
Mohib: While that is true, I also want to point out how it wasn’t just HSY but almost all of my characters in the film have been created keeping in mind the actors who will be showcasing and bringing these characters to life on the screen. I had even done so with the interaction of the actors, ensuring that the screen gives a winning representation.
SD: What remains your most favorite part about this film?
Mohib: The action sequences we have done were completely memorable. Major thought and precision have been put into bringing these stunts onto the camera and I know the audience will appreciate it as they witness the hard work put into it.
SD: Why should the Pakistani audience head to the cinemas to watch Ishrat Made in China?
Mohib: Simply because they deserve it! This is a major festive film which isn’t just commercial but also solidifies with a very strong storyline. So you are all set to get heaps of entertainment that will allow you to experience the full plethora of emotions. The pandemic has been tough on us. It is time we treat ourselves to something fun!
The Leading Lady’s Take !
Sanam Saeed is one versatile actress who always manages to leave an impression with whatever role she takes on and with her offbeat persona, vibrant dialogue-delivery and absolutely gorgeous style and glamour in this film, there is no denying it will become a memorable character for the books. Speaking to Social Diary, the talented diva revealed how she brought ‘Akhtar’ to life!
I wanted to look very different from my usual roles . I colored my hair , I got really fit to carry off the wardrobe and I wanted to keep fun / cool / design modern accessories to help bring my character to life.
SD: What remains the most memorable aspect about shooting this film?
Sanam: The hard work and dedication of each and every crew member and actor. Watching everyone give it their absolute best was the greatest aspect of the film. Watching dreams come true made it so much special.
SD: How was it working under the direction of Mohib Mirza?
Sanam: Mohib is one of the most passionate and astute actors I’ve worked with. His knowledge of every aspect of film making is an extension of that passion. It was a pleasure to work with a director and colleague who is so sure of what he wants, who knows how to extract what is needed from actors, camera team, crew members, musicians, dancers , art team etc. He paid attention to every single detail which made the process all the more challenging for everyone but all the more worth it when we saw the final product!
SD: How do you feel this movie is going to be giving a cinematic boost to our industry?
Sanam: Our cinema needs humor and entertainment after almost a 2 year hiatus. Audiences need to be wowed, they need to connect to dialogues and characters and they need to feel like their time was well spent and that is what IMIC will deliver, therefore boosting our cinema industry.
SD: From the day it was announced, to the shooting and finally releasing after long delays due to the pandemic, how overwhelming has it all been?
Sanam: Let’s just say all good things take time before you can reap the benefits. It’s been overwhelming because of the excitement for everyone to watch this film, but all that is part of the game. The wait, the delays, the anticipation and so on.