|Dunya — a film featuring khwaja siras|
12 October 2012
The media’s portrayal of khwaja siras (transgender individuals) is often negative. In the film industry, such a character is either the subject of a joke or frowned upon and given limited roles.
In Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol, we saw the transgender community play a more positive role as its members tried to save a young boy from the clutches of harassers. In the same spirit, this coming February these neglected individuals of our society will play a role in Dunya, a Punjabi film directed by the distinguished Shahid Rana, who is making a comeback after five years.
Near the acclaimed Evernew Studios in Lahore, a rooftop marriage hall is festooned with lights. Dhol and dafli players are all set to film a scene capturing an old-city haveli. Around 20 khwaja siras are dressed in their best outfits; their eyes shining with excitement as they prepare for their film debut. Starring alongside are some of Lollywood’s finest actors; Moammar Rana, Saima, Shafqat Cheema, Rambo, and Nargis. It’s the shooting of the film Dunya, in which 70 members of the transgender community will act alongside the film industry’s prominent stars.
Neeli Roy, the guru and chairperson of Anjuman Khwaja Sira, is from Texali gate in old Lahore. Over the years, she has taken in and trained many people from the transgender community and suggested some names for the shooting of the film. Roy wants to show the societal discrimination against khwaja siras like herself by appearing in the film. “People look at us differently — with really bad intentions,” she says. “It would be great if the awaam will love us [because of this film]; we are sad people and have been kicked out of our houses. All we need is love.”
One member from the community, Zebi, stands close to her group of friends at the shooting. Her face is lit up and she giggles as she waits for her scene to be filmed. Zebi is from Badami Bagh and lives with her teacher, Roy, most of the time. “Most of us have to run away,” she explains. “If I ask you to wear these hijra clothes, would you? Even if you wear them, would your family accept you? They would not!” Zebi cries out. “That’s why we stay away from our families and our neighbourhoods, because we cause them embarrassment.”
An underlying theme in the film is the dancing culture associated with khwaja siras. Roy laughs as she tries to dispel the stereotypes that come along with living in prostitution-associated neighborhoods like Heera Mandi.
“It’s known as Heera Mandi because that’s where the singing and dancing takes place,” says Roy. “If it’s a wedding or the celebration of a child’s birth, people want to have a function and call khwaja siras. At that time, people book us for their functions and go home,” she says bitterly.
With this film, for the first time, Pakistan’s favourite villain Shafqat Cheema will be playing a positive role in a Punjabi film — the role of a guru Khwaja Sira. In the movie, Moammar Rana works as a doctor in a village where he meets Saima. Rambo, who plays Saima’s brother, is the sole-breadwinner for their family. When his sister is ready for marriage, he leaves the village for the city to earn money for her dowry. His struggle begins when he arrives in the city and his horse is stolen outside of Data Sahib’s durbar.
“In the film, Rambo dances to make money for Saima’s dowry, but the result is that no one is willing to marry his sister,” says veteran screenwriter and lyricist Abdullah Chilli, who has penned the script for Dunya. “These traditions have a negative role, and it’s important that we rethink them.”
A series of mishaps lands Rambo behind bars, where Shafqat Cheema introduces him to the world of dancing in Heera Mandi and also plays the role of a mentor who gets Rambo on his feet.
Although it seems that Dunya is going to be a film that touches upon some serious themes, Rana clarifies that it will still be entertaining. “I have never really done a film like this before. Our action films are failing so we are hoping to do something light-hearted and comedic,” he says.
|See Also in Showbiz News|
|Space trip with DiCaprio costs $1.55m|
25 May 2013
CANNES - Leonardo DiCaprio is going to get closer to stars of a different kind as he heads into space aboard the Virgin Galactic, and a well-heeled bidder at the Cannes Film Festival has paid 1.2 million euros (1.5 million) to be his travel buddy.
The Holywood star’s sub-orbital trip was among 20 goodies up for grabs at the 20th amfAR bash, a gala auction that is one of the glitziest festival events and that this year helped raise a record-breaking $25 million for AIDS research.
Other ... Full Story
|Blind poodle wins Cannes’ Palm Dog|
25 May 2013
CANNES : A white poodle that plays the part of a blind pet owned by Liberace in the flamboyant biopic “Behind the Candelabra” scooped glory on Friday by winning the Palm Dog for canine talent at the Cannes Film Festival.
The pedigree pooch plays Baby Boy, whose sight problems bring a teenage dog trainer (played by Matt Damon) into the orbit of a predatory Liberace (Michael Douglas). Eventually, their love affair breaks down in a welter of jealousy and drugs.
“He brought those boys together - ... Full Story
|Fresh Prince stars reunite at show|
25 May 2013
LONDON PA : Fresh Prince Of Bel Air may have stopped filming in 1996 - but the cult status of the show means that when Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro and Jeff Townes get together it’s automatically a reunion.
In fact, crowds went wild when the trio turned up at Boujis to watch Will’s elder son Trey DJ.
Will Smith was reunited with two of his Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air co-stars as his eldest son Trey made his DJing debut in London.
The Hollywood star, who is promoting his new sci-fi film After Earth ... Full Story
|Carrie Underwood pledges $1m to Red Cross|
25 May 2013
OKLAHOMA: Carrie Underwood has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross. The country singer pledged the generous sum to provide help for people affected by the brutal tornado ... Full Story
|Gwyneth Paltrow smells awful|
25 May 2013
NEW YORK: Gwyneth Paltrow has a body odor problem!
The Iron Man star apparently smelled terrible at New York’s Met Ball - but no one had the guts to tell her. “Poor Gwyneth looked ... Full Story
|‘Major’ changes for US X Factor|
25 May 2013
LOS ANGELES: Simon Cowell’s US X Factor will apparently undergo “major” changes when it returns.
The singing competition failed to set the ratings on fire across the pond last ... Full Story
|Owen to star in TV show|
25 May 2013
HOLLYWOOD: Clive Owen is in talks to star in a new TV series directed by Steven Soderbergh. The Traffic director has just announced he is retiring from filmmaking with his final ... Full Story
|Amanda Bynes held in NYC|
25 May 2013
NEW YORK: US actress Amanda Bynes was arrested in New York City late on Thursday after she allegedly threw a bong out the window of a midtown Manhattan apartment building, a police ... Full Story
Cast: Danish Taimor, Sumbal Iqbal, Madiha Rizvi, Rubina Ashraf, Nadia Afghan, Faiq, Qazi Wajid, Sabahat Bukhari.
Written by: Imran Ali ...
Cast: Saleem Shiekh, Mehwish Hayat, Kamran Jilani, Imran Aslam and others.
Producer By: Ajmal Murad
Director By: Syed Ahmad Kamran
|Zindagi Gulzar Hai|
Cast: Fawad Afzal Khan, Sanam Saeed, Mehreen Raheal, Ayesha Omar, Samina PeerZada, Javed Shiekh, Hina K.Biyat.
Written By: Umera ...
Cast: Rubina Ashraf, Waseem Abbas, Aijaz Aslam, Sana Khan, Shehzad Khan, Rubiya Chuadhry, Sumbul Shahid and Others.
Director: Shakeel ...
6 girls form Pakistan, 6 girls from india
|Nachley Season 4|
Host: Waqar Zaka
Judges: Moamar Rana, Faisal Qureshi and Film Star Resham.
|Dus Tak Kay Baad|
The panels of Experts that will be a regular part of the show are:
1. Nabeela (image consultant).
2. Munna Mushtaq (Fashion ...