Pakistani cinema is being revived: Aamina Sheikh | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Pakistani cinema is being revived: Aamina Sheikh

Actor Aamina Sheikh, whose film is the only Pakistani entry at the MFF, talks about cinema, Star Plus and Abhishek Bachchan.

bollywood Updated: Oct 24, 2012 16:41 IST
Serena Menon

Actor Aamina Sheikh, whose film is the only Pakistani entry at the MFF, talks about cinema, Star Plus and Abhishek Bachchan.

You’ve worked extensively in TV and Iram Parveen Bilal’s Josh is your second feature film. How did you land the role?
I was introduced to her through a media consultant. There was a tedious audition scheduled planned. But it was good for me. I felt like I had something to prove. I made it through the audition. Then I needed to see the complete script to gauge whether the film was okay for me to do. Without a doubt, the character has the kind of margin needed to make the experience a fulfiling one for an actor.

When did you venture into films?
I am from Karachi. But I’ve been living in between New York, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. When I went to study in the US, I had never thought I was going to take up professional acting as a career. I came back to Pakistan four years after my studies, and the media industry had boomed. We used to have one or two TV channels. Then suddenly there were 12 to 15 to 20 channels. The content became better. A lot more educated people were joining the industry. That’s when someone approached me for a commercial and a tele film. And TV is much bigger there… We are very blessed right now. Pakistan mein films ka revival ho raha hai (films are being revived in Pakistan). But yes, you can’t depend on films to run your house. What Bollywood is in India, television is in Pakistan. TV serials have gone to a whole new level. There’s a lot of attention to detail when it comes to content. I happened to be there at the right time.

How reflective of the ground realities is television in Pakistan?
To some extent… but there is also entertainment value. There may not be song and dance, but there’s lot of romance, relationships and family dynamics. Although, before getting into drama serials, Pakistan did at some point try out the Star Plus technique. It backfired. It didn’t work for audiences. They are hooked to Star Plus shows, but they couldn’t accept their local talent following the same line. That didn’t get the channels the ratings, which made them reflect and go back to Pakistani drama. Now that we’re heading in this smooth upward direction in TV, there’s urge — everyone is dying to do films! But that Lollywood era has finished. One film recently released after four years and it did well. There isn’t any consistency, but now that private producers and channels have ventured into filmmaking, there are 12 to 14 films in production. If we can just churn out films, I can see in the next five years, things will get much better.

Have you seen any Indian films?
I watched Barfi! It was great. I’m becoming a bigger fan of Ranbir Kapoor every day. I’ve always said that one of my dreams has been to feature in the same frame as Abhishek Bachchan; and now it’s become him and Ranbir (smiles).

Watch Iram Parveen Bilal’s Josh starring Aamina Sheikh on Monday at 5.45 pm at Inox Screen 4 as part of the MFF.