British-Pakistani director's movie in the run for Oscar

An up-and-coming director from the UK, Sarmad Masud’s debut film My Pure Land has been chosen as Britain's submission to vie for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie is based on the true story of Nazo Dharejo, who, along with her two daughters, fought off a militia with 200 bandits to defend their land. It is the first time Britain has chosen an Urdu feature film to compete for the prestigious award.

Shot in Pakistan, the movie’s production company said that the crew had to negotiate their way through heavily armed civilian regions, but Masud said it was crucial for him to shoot the film here, as he wanted Pakistanis to feel proud of it. The film released in the UK cinemas on September 15.

Audience praise film on Pakistani-Norwegian family, What People Will Say

Pakistani-Norwegian director Iram Haq's film What People Will Say premiered at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) to a positive response from the audience. The film, which takes some of its inspiration from the director's life, is based on the life of Pakistani-origin teenager, Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) living in Norway, struggling to lead a dual life – one which follows her parents’ wishes of living the Pakistani life, while also keeping up with the Norwegian culture.

Nisha's fight for her freedom and her parents' effort to steer her towards their culture causes a conflict between the two and results in her being sent to Pakistan to live with her extended family members. The film shows the generation gap between the parents and daughter – especially the torment children of immigrant parents go through. However, Haq explained that the film that left quite a mark on the viewers at the festival is not "a negative portrayal of Pakistan.

Lala Begum wins best screenplay in Washington DC

Pakistani cinema made us proud once again, as Mehreen Jabbar's short film Lala Begum bags the award for best screenplay at the 6th Annual Washington DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), that showcases the best in alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The 40-minute short film has been written by veteran playwright Syed Mohammad Ahmed, known for his most famed work, the hit drama serial Tum Se Kehna Tha. He also wrote the critically acclaimed Ramchand Pakistani, which was also Jabbar's directorial debut.

The film revolves around the relationship between two estranged sisters, Meher and Seher who haven't spoken to each other over two decades. The former begrudges the latter for disregarding the family's wishes and marrying a man outside the family. The two meet decades later when Seher returns home and claims her share of the family estate after her husband dies. Zeb and Haniya have contributed the background score while the cast includes Marina Khan, Sonya Rehman and Humayun Saeed.

Hot Pursuit

MAG’s favourite picks of the week

Treasure Trove

Aamir Khan is Bollywod’s true chamelion

In his next film Thugs of Hindostan, an action-adventure period film based on a mob in pre-partition India, Aamir Khan will play a goon-like character and latest photos from the film's sets confirm this. While earlier it was said that the film and Aamir's character seems inspired by Pirates of the Carribean, fans now feel that his look is very similar to Game of Thrones character Tyrion Lannister, as pictures of the actor in muddied clothes and matted hair started doing rounds. He has also been sporting a nosepin for some time.

Recently, Aamir also debuted his crazy new look for Secret Superstar in which his character, Shakti Kumar, wears snug and gaudy T-shirts, heavily gells his blonde spikes, wears earrings and golden chains around his neck, however, the character is completely opposite to how the Dhoom 3 star is in his personal life. "One of my toughest roles!" Aamir has said.

The Right Note

This week we are celebrating birthdays of two famous and incredibly melodious Librans, Bruno Mars and Amanat Ali. So why don’t we revisit some catchy numbers from them? There is nothing that will get you up and out of bed on a lazy day like Bruno’s Uptown Funk, while you will find it hard to resist tapping your feet along Amanat’s Kohram!

Eating Out


The all-day dining continental buffet restaurant, Al-Bustan has the capacity of housing up to 250 guests in a vast room full of different food set ups. With theme nights every Thursday and Saturday, the guests also enjoy different programmes like live music and lucky draws that the restaurant hold throughout the year, along with great quality dishes. This contemporary fine dining place promises a wholesome experience to food lovers and delivers, as there is something for every one to appreciate from over 60 items, including salads, cold and hot appetisers, main courses and desserts.

I started with a clear broth that had a spicy little kick to it. The soup tasted especially good with selection of different breads and baked sticks to go along with it. Moving on to the extensive salad bar; the chickpea salad was my favourite for its crunch and flavour. Simple raw mixed vegetables along with different sauces give you a chance to fix something of your choice while there are a number of shredded, steamed cuts of meats that will fill you up with good taste and nutrients. The lavish main course buffet is absolutely fit for a king – Chinese, continental, Paksitani, bbq, you name it and they have it. They also have a live pasta station as well as live tandoor enclosed in a glassed chamber to enthrall the guests some more.

The white sauce pasta was to die for; absolutely rich, creamy and yet light on the tummy. Baked fish fillets, too, were tasty. I, particularly, enjoyed mixed vegetables along with steamed vegetables with rice, which were a perfect balance of flavour and healthy food. The yakhni pulao and bbq weren’t too far behind – the former tasted finger licking good accompanied with assortments like salad, raita and chutney, while the latter had just the right amount of spice to balance your palate. Since I’m not a dessert person, I decided to skip the last course, but judging by the assortments in the section, any dessert lover would have a blast trying the options! – SSK

Glued to the Screen


This TV drama isn't your usual serial with sobbing women and domestic warfare, but one of the best series on air these days because of its content. It explores a different story in every episode each week, sustaining the suspense of the plot throughout and making it impossible for the viewers to guess the ending. The incredible writing doesn't give the entire episode away and keeps its audience engrossed.

So far Dhund has tackled issues like the 1947 Partition, adoption, restless and bored ghosts, and the menace of ghairat. Keep watching for more!