60 Years of Film Industry of Pakistan-Lollywood
Pakistan’s film industry known as “Lollywood” is based in Lahore. Lahore was known to be the center of theatrical activities after Mumbai, Calcutta and Dehli before partition. The plays used to be staged in the streets of Lahore, and none other than our Government College Lahore’s prominent students were the talented hunks including M. Ismail, Abdul Rasheed Kaardaar, M. Jameel Heera Laal, Lala Yaqoob, Fazal Shah, Pitras Bukhari, Imtiaz Ali Taaj and many others.
Pakistan shared its film history with India from 1896 to 1947. Lahore produced many films and a big number of Pakistani artists debuted in this period. The first silent film from Lahore was The Daughter of Today released in 1924 and the inaugural Punjabi or talkie film from Lahore was Heer Ranjha in 1932. Mian Abdur Rasheed Kardar was the man who started film making in Lahore.
Heer Ranjha is the first ever Lahore made film. Anwari Begum and Rafiq Ghaznavi – the grand parent of Salma Agha – played title roles in this memorable film. Rafiq Ghaznavi was a famous musician in the 30s and 40s and Anwari Begum appeared in many films, one of them was Anmol Ghari. Revolutionary music director Master Ghulam Haidar changed the whole style of film music from classical Bangali to folk Punjabi music in this mega hit film from Lahore. Some of the great musicians of golden times were Khawaja Khurshid Anwar, Ustad Inayat Hussain, G.A. Chishti, Rashid Attre, Ustad Tasadduq, Master Abdullah, Firoze Nizami, Tufail Farooqi and Ustad Nazar.
In 1960s, the first Presidential awards were introduced and also from Islamic point of view, many prominent Ulma including Molana Mododi were consulted as to whether filmmaking in Islam is Jayez or Najayez, and they flagged it “Jayez”.
Golden era of Pakistani Films is considered to be from 1956 to 1966 and let me name very very famous male artists like Sudhir, Santosh, Waheed Murad, Nadeem, Mohammad Ali, Aslam Pervaiz and female artists, Noor Jahan, Nayyer Sultana, Shamim Ara, Sabeeha, Shabnam, Nisho, Neelo and there are lot more stars I hope you guys still remember some of them.
Intentionally, I am not going to talk about the eras when Pakistani cinema faced crisis and you guys know very well about the ups and downs and the fragile status.
Lets not forget all the glitzy Kings and Queens of celluloid and hope for the bright future of Pakistani Cinema.