Producer of the highest-grosser set the record straight about why the blockbuster wasn’t sent in for LSA consideration
It’s that time of the year! Pakistan’s arguably biggest entertainment awards, the Lux Style Awards, are all set for its 22nd run. As the submission period for music, dramas and films from all categories closes, the organisers recently announced the list of submissions now open to vote.
While the fan-favourites will be competing against one another for the coveted trophy, one offering was prominently missing from the submissions. Ammara Hikmat and Bilal Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt has not been sent for consideration at the LSAs. It wasn’t likely for Pakistan’s biggest film to date to miss out on bagging the country’s biggest awards. Truth be told, many had been hoping to see Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi’s revenge tale sweep the awards night.
However, seems like that will not be the case, and the producer has now set the record straight behind their decision. “The Legend of Maula Jatt is an ensemble film,” Hikmat told The Express Tribune exclusively. “It’s a film that has been Bilal’s vision for the longest time. He’s not just the director; he’s also the writer. He’s edited the film, and he’s overlooked the whole process. Similarly, the cinematographer, the composers of the film, the VFX artists – everyone has given their 100%, and for them to not be recognised for all the hard work they have put into this film – this just doesn’t sit well with us.”
She furthered, “The Best Film award, should we be awarded, is not going to be fair without the recognition of every member of the team. Of course, selecting the categories is at LSA’s discretion, but we can’t overlook the team that makes a film.”
It is pertinent to mention that LSA only boasts four categories in the film section: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film and Best Playback Singer. Hikmat added if the likes of her won’t raise this issue of not enough recognition being provided to the talented individuals behind the camera, then they do not wish to be a party to such recognition. “If we highlight how much truly goes into making a film as big as The Legend of Maula Jatt, or any film, really, then I think it’s unjust not to name every person who had been part of the film,” she said.
“You need to have more categories in honour of all the work they’ve done. These people need to be encouraged; I can take the Best Film Award, but that truly cannot sum up the team and its efforts behind it. We don’t want to be part of awards where everyone isn’t appreciated enough.”
Last month, it came to light that the film had crossed over Rs400 crores globally. The cult-classic thriller had already become the highest-grossing Punjabi film of all time at the global box office in the fourth week of its release. Previously, the film has managed to break other records and has already added many titles to its name including; highest grossing Pakistani film and the second-highest-grossing film in the UK for the year 2022 as well as the most-watched South Asian film in Norway.
The Legend of Maula Jatt was released in 25 different territories with 500+ screens – making it one of the biggest releases to come out of Pakistan. The phenomenal response to the film has led to full house screenings across the world and queues outside cinemas, with exhibitors continuously scheduling additional screenings to meet consumers’ demands. Such has been the adulation for the film that standing ovations have been recorded at cinemas globally. The number of screens for the movie are increasing every day.
A reboot of Yunus Malik’s 1979 cult classic Maula Jutt, the film is a re-telling of the story of the rivalry between Maula Jatt and Noori Natt. Directed by Lashari, The Legend of Maula Jatt also stars Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Humaima Malick, Mirza Gohar Rasheed, Faris Shafi, Ali Azmat, Nayyer Ejaz, Shafqat Cheema, Raheela Agha, Zia Khan and Saima Baloch.
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POST AUTHOR: Rida Lodhi