News Buzz

December 2020

Fall Romance

fall romance

Syra Yousuf and Sheheryar Munawar were recently featured in OK Pakistan magazine. There is sizzling chemistry between the two and the photos are already doing rounds on the internet. Donning casual and formal dresses, Syra and Shehreyar look like the future celebrity couple in town. The bold and beautiful shoot for the fashion campaign titled ‘Fall Romance’ featured in the November edition of the magazine.

Syra has been frequently appearing in a number of advertising campaigns while Sheheryar recently went through a shoulder surgery after a car accident.

Recreating Diana’s Iconic Looks


The much anticipated season 4 of Netflix series ‘The Crown’ has finally landed on the streaming platform. Other than following into the Royals’ story, the season has recreated Princess Diana’s iconic looks from the number of historic occasions the world remembers. She is the perfect Princess of Hearts and the memories are impeccable.

Zong Bundle


Zong has introduced another international roaming offer for its postpaid customers travelling to Malaysia. Zong 4G’s postpaid customers will now be able to stay connected with people back home at incredibly affordable rates.

The bundle gives the subscribers 30 minutes talk-time, 30 messages and 1GB data for 30 days at PKR 3000 plus tax.

Zong 4G’s international roaming offers have been helping customers to always stay connected with Pakistan when they travel abroad, especially in the current coronavirus crisis. Prior to the Malaysia bundle, Zong has introduced international roaming offers for Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and other countries.

Young Pakistani in Hollywood


‘Echo Boomers’, Omer H Paracha’s first feature film as an Executive Producer, has now been released in selected theatres worldwide and is available for viewing in Pakistan on streaming platforms.

‘Echo Boomers’ follows a group of disillusioned kids in their twenties who use Chicago as their playground by breaking into the homes of its richest citizens and stealing from them. The millennial gang of art thieves keeps audiences on their toes as they set out on a journey with nothing to lose and causing destruction wherever they go.

With Patrick Schwarzenegger, Alex Pettyfer, Hayley Law, Oliver Cooper, Lesley Ann Warren and Michael Shannon, ‘Echo Boomers’ is Seth Savoy’s directional debut and has been produced by Mike Ware.

Omer H Paracha has the honour of being the youngest executive producer in Hollywood from Pakistan. He is also the owner and founder of Paraval, a leading street-wear inspired luxury label based exclusively in Los Angeles.

‘Echo Boomers’ is now also available on Hulu, Paramount, iTunes and Amazon worldwide.

Zeenat Haroon Prize for Raniya


The Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women announced that the award for 2020 has been won by Lahore writer Raniya Hosain for her polemical essay ‘Portrait of a Woman in Pain’. She will receive a cash award of Rs. 100,000/-

This year the Prize was restricted to non-fiction writing and the winning submission was chosen from over 350 entries. At just 21 years of age, Raniya Hosain is a precocious talent who had shown early promise when she won the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition in 2014 at the age of 15. Hailing from Lahore, Raniya is currently studying for her Master’s degree in English Literature at King’s College, London.

So Kamal New Collection


So Kamal, Pakistan’s premium retail brand, has launched its new Cambric Collection.

The collection is available nationwide at all So Kamal stores and also online.

The cambric collection showcases vibrant tones, and ebullient embroideries, combined with timeless prints that make an opulent statement. The collection is available in 1 piece kurtas without embroidery, 2-piece shirts and trousers without embroidery and 3-piece cambric outfits with and without embroidery.

The Cambric 2020 collection welcomes fall with timeless prints, warmer fabrics and detailed embroideries based in a multiple range of fabrics. The collection is perfect for the current season and is designed to make girls stand out wherever they go.

‘Waham’ - A Psychological Web Series


Mehreen Jabbar is making a psychological thriller web series ‘Waham’ for Rinstra, a Pakistani short-form digital media platform for on-demand streaming and creation of consumer-generated authentic content material.

She has recently joined Rinstra’s Content Advisory Board where she will be focusing on content creation while mentoring young and emerging filmmakers on content treatment and digital storytelling.

She is known as a director and producer of gritty, hard-hitting films and TV sequences for Pakistan and South Asia.

The web-series has Naeema Butt, Tania Kazi, Shezi Sardar and Nida Hussain. Written by Shah Yasir, the series will be available on the Rinstra platform soon.

Romantic Thriller

Kubra Gohar

Gohar Mumtaz and Kubra Khan will be seen in the romantic thriller feature film ‘Abhee’ being produced by UK-based Daniel Johnes Productions. The synopsis of the film has still not been revealed but shooting in Kashmir has been completed and the team is off to another location. The cast includes Saleem Sheikh, Usman Peerzada, Mahmood Aslam, Ehtesham Uddin, Yasira Rizvi, Hina Bayat and Asif Raza Mir. Directed by Asad Malik, the film is set to be released in 2021.

Spotify in Pakistan


The Swedish-based audio streaming and media services provider happens to have created a verified Instagram account for Pakistan. However, there is no official statement or any updates or descriptions from the company about launching of the service in Pakistan. The account has more than 12,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform.

Spotify is the largest music streaming platform in the world. It has over 144 million subscribers worldwide and is currently available in 92 markets.

With the Spotify Pakistan launch, users in the country will be able to enjoy music that includes 60 million tracks, 4 billion playlists as well as localized music personalization features.

No Digital Double

No Digital Double

Earlier, there were speculations that Marvel will use a digital double for the late Chadwick Boseman in the forthcoming ‘Black Panther 2’ film. But in a recent interview with the Argentine newspaper Clarin, producer Victoria Alonso denied the rumours saying that there’s only one Chadwick and he is no longer with us. Hence, there will be no digital appearance of the late actor.

Chadwick, who played the lead role in ‘Black Panther’, died earlier this year from colon cancer.

The Marvel team is taking time to see how to continue the story and how to honour the franchise. The production for ‘Black Panther 2’ will begin in early 2021 and is expected to be ready for release in 2022.

Coca-Cola and Kashf Foundation Collaboration

coca cola

Kashf Foundation, with support from the Coca-Cola Foundation, launched 6 state-of-the-art training facilities in Lahore and Faisalabad. This is a special program titled ‘Recycling for Women Empowerment’ that provides skill-based training to hundreds of women belonging to low-income households. The training will equip the women with skills to make products of everyday use such as pen-holders, envelopes, lamps and bags, using recyclable materials like plastic PET bottles, newspapers and plastic materials which they can later sell and earn a livelihood for their families.

The Recycling for Women Empowerment program is one of its kind initiatives in the country. Not only will the program play an integral part in enhancing the skills of women micro-entrepreneurs to improve employment opportunities but also help protect the environment by reducing material wastage which would otherwise pollute our environment.

The Coca Cola Foundation and Kashf Foundation have been collaborating since 2010 to economically empower women in low-income households. Over the years, this partnership has transformed into a driving force to alter the socio-economic prospects of women micro-entrepreneurs in the country.

Stallone in ‘The Suicide Squad’


Sylvester Stallone has joined ‘The Suicide Squad’ cast. The director of the film James Gunn confirmed the news on social media but it is still unclear as to which character Stallone will play.

Stallone and Gunn have previously worked together in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’.Gunn has also written the screenplay for ‘The Suicide Squad’, taking inspiration from the 80s Suicide Squad comics. The film stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Peter Capaldi and Viola Davis.

And Now... ‘UrduFlix’

Urdu Flix

Emax Media has forayed into the on-demand streaming segment with the announcement of Pakistan’s first Urdu OTT platform, UrduFlix, offering original and exclusive content in Urdu worldwide.

‘UrduFlix’ will provide viewers with access to original Urdu films, TV Serials, documentaries, cartoons and Urdu dubbed Turkish serials. The new platform brings in a plethora of new-age content from the original to already popular plays and films Emax Media have also globally partnered with Fox, Disney, Star and other networks and have proved to be a great addition to the Pakistani entertainment industry. The OTT platform is expected to be launched in January 2021.

Proud Distinction

Dr iffat

Dr Iffat Zafar Aga, co-founder and COO of one of the leading telemedicine platforms in Pakistan - Sehat Kahani - has become the first Pakistani female recipient of the Elevate Foundation Prize 2020.

The Elevate Prize Foundation winners are chosen from nearly 1,300 applicants after months of review as these winners are tackling problems including peace, health, women’s empowerment, youth education and food security, among others. Out of 1,300 applicants from 119 countries, Dr Iffat won the prestigious award and will now have the opportunity to be mentored by some of the world’s most influential social impact change-makers.

The Elevate Prize’s goal is to find extraordinary and purpose-driven leaders from all around the world and provide them with resources and support to increase their impact dramatically. The foundation launched the Elevate Prize in partnership with MIT Solve.

Etimad Awards


Etimad Online and Pakistan Public Forum organized a seminar on “Alleviation of Poverty and Creating Employment by Motivating Entrepreneurs”. The chief guest was Imran Ismail, Governor of Sindh. The event highlighted government institutions and professionals in motivating and training entrepreneurs. Etimad Online Groceries (Pvt.) Ltd. is launching a chain of grocery stores across Karachi with an option of online purchases. It will operate with 50 stores and will focus on introducing non-conventional items.

Another Turkish TV Serial


After the massive popularity of ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’, PTV is set to launch another Turkish serial dubbed in Urdu.

In May, PM Imran Khan had requested for another historic Turkish serial. The Urdu dubbing of the Turkish series ‘Younis Emre’ has been completed which will soon be shown on PTV under the name ‘Rah-e-Ishq’. PTV recently released the Urdu trailer of the serial on its official Twitter handle.

‘Yunus Emre: Aşkın Yolculuğu’ is a Turkish biographical and historical television serial created by Mehmet Bozdağ who is also the creator of the Dirlis Ertugrul serial. The new serial stars Gökhan Atalay.

It is based on the life of Yunus Emre, the 13th century Anatolian Sufi poet, who greatly influenced Anatolian culture.