By Ally Adnan
LAHORE: Feature film Chalay Thay Saath, which was first released on April 21, 2017, and later became one of the most popular Pakistani films on Netflix, is all set to represent the country at the SCO Film Festival which will be held in Qingdao, China, from June 13-17.
Pakistan Today spoke to the director and the actors of the film. Umer Adil, the director of the film, said, “A year after its initial release, Chalay Thay Saath, continues to enjoy a lot of popularity and I feel a lot of pride in having made the film.”
The filmmaker has a lot of reasons to be proud of Chalay Thay Saath. The film opened to packed houses amidst tremendous critical acclaim and it played to full houses at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in the city’s Tony Wan Chai district in March earlier this year.
Producer Beenish Umer and lead actors Syra Shahroze and Kent S Leung will accompany Umer Adil to Qingdao where Chalay Thay Saath will be exhibited at the Film Mart Expo and the In Focus Program. The goal of the expo is to acquire films from around the world for commercial release in China. The film will be screened at the Wanda Cinema as part of the In Focus Program at a prestigious event which will include a press conference, discussion and interview of the lead actors and the director.
Umer, commenting on how the enduring appeal of the film does not surprise him, said, “One of the most beautiful things about Pakistan is the warm relationships that its people forge very quickly with each other and my film is a celebration of the sincerity, strength and beauty of Pakistani relationships. As a nation, Pakistanis tend to bring a lot of love to friendships, familial relationships, and romantic affairs. I believe that viewers like the manner in which this aspect of Pakistani culture has been presented in Chalay Thay Saath.”
Syra said that she feels that the film’s setting – Pakistan’s scenic Hunza valley – adds to the appeal of the film. She said, “Chalay Thay Saath features truly brilliant cinematography. In my opinion, each and every frame of the movie is a work of art and perfectly captures the beauty of Northern Pakistan.”
Kent said that he feels that the music of the film is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Chalay Thay Saath. “The sights and sounds of the film make it a truly delightful film,” he said. “And the warm heart at the core of the film makes it endearing. I am glad to have been a part of the movie,” he added.
Beenish, the film’s producer, told Pakistan Today that she feels that the hard work that went into making the film is the reason for its success.
“The entire cast and crew of Chalay Thay Saath put their heart and soul into the making of the film,” she said. “I think that the film was made with a lot of love and passion. Viewers have been able to sense that in the past and, I believe, the folks at the SCO Film Festival will see it as well. I am looking forward to successful showings in China,” she added.
Ally Adnan lives in Dallas and writes about culture, history and the arts. He tweets @allyadnan and can be reached at [email protected]