'Tamanna' encourages all filmmakers to contribute to the industry's evolution

* Premiering on June 8 at the prestigious London Asian Film Festival, the Steven Moore-directed film has been met with immense acclaim in Pakistan, following its release on June 13

Camera, lights, action! Pakistani film ‘Tamanna’ has been in the making since 2010, so it’s been four years the concept had been trying to make its way to the cinemas and theatres, adding a cherry on top of the film industry’s evolution. Revival is a word I’ll abstain from using for the once illustrious Pakistani film industry as I believe, it never really died. Stalled, yes! But not died. So my dear readers, let’s give a huge round of applause to all those filmmakers who are participating and contributing with all their might, to the evolution of the film industry, giving the cinemagoers and theatre lovers something to indulge in since the past one year. 
With a litany of films that released last year, many winning both international and domestic acclaim, there was this one film, which had been creating quite a stir. The critics knew it was coming out, cinemagoers had been waiting anxiously and the censor board was looking out for the final ‘edit’. ‘Tamanna’ was still in post-production. Directed by British filmmaker Steven Moore and produced by Sarah Tareen of Concordia Productions, ‘Tamanna’ was released on Friday in Pakistan. Initially to have its premiere in Lahore on June 6 and in the UK on June 8, there was a brief change of plans, when the makers decided to hold the premiere in Lahore five days later. However, whilst being screened as planned in the UK, at the prestigious London Asian Film Festival (LAFF), ‘Tamanna’ was met with immense appreciation and critical acclaim. 
“I think for me, my hard work put in the film had already paid off when Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, who is one of the founding directors of the LAFF said about the film that ‘Every scene looked like a photograph’. Me and the rest of the team have been working tirelessly to bring to the audience a film they would like to sit back and enjoy and eventually take memories of it back home and also be able tor recall it in good words. Hopefully, our hard work is there for everyone to see in the film,” Tareen said, while talking exclusively to Daily Times. “I had my sources telling me that many in the audience even compared the film to a Hollywood classic, dubbed in Urdu. All these interesting compliments and feedback all the way UK has been boosting my confidence and I’m excited for the official release in Pakistan now,” she maintained. 
‘Tamanna’, which is based on English playwright and screenwriter Anthony Shaffer of The Wicker Man and “Whodunnit” fame’s play “Sleuth”, is a dark, haunting and wickedly hilarious tale of a small-time actor (Rizwan Ahmed played by Omair Rana) in love with a rich filmmaker’s wife. He sets out to ask for her hand in marriage from her now separated husband (Mian Tariq Ali played by Salman Shahid) at a deserted mansion’s premises, only to find himself embroiled in a vicious and tricky situation, his beloved’s estranged husband puts him in. How the story unfolds from there is for everyone to see as ‘Tamanna’ proves once and for all how circumstances, which sometimes go out of our control, teach us lessons we otherwise fail to understand. ‘Tamanna’ quickly picks up pace, is sometimes relatable and otherwise entertaining. Starring Omair Rana and Salman Shahid in pivotal roles, Mehreen Raheal and Faryal Gohar are also seen in supporting roles. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song for the film “Dastak diye baghair” has already been deemed a super hit track, with Rahat winning the award for Best Music Talent at the LAFF. 
“Two of the things, which I absolutely love about the film amongst others is the fantastic chemistry shared by Salman and Omair. Also, the ending is beautifully written. Although, the film is male-dominated, Faryal Gohar’s role is integral to the film and people will realise that after watching it,” Tareen added. ‘Tamanna’ has been distributed by Summit Entertainment and ARY Films.
Tareen’s Concordia Productions is “not just a production house. It aims to promote an independent voice of Pakistani cinema”. Under the same banner, two untitled films are also in the pipeline; one musical and the other is a drama film based in the inner city.
Cinema, film and theatre is here to stay for as long as the world will last, and I’m just glad Pakistan is running in the filmmaking race shoulder to shoulder with the others.

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