Proud Sanam Saeed elated to see Pakistani industry ‘thriving’
After years of redundant and mundane projects offered by the Pakistani showbiz fraternity, there have been galore local projects that propelled Pakistani artists into international stardom and allowed the industry to have its own Renaissance era.
From Humayun Saeed securing a role in the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown to singer Arooj Aftab bagging the first Grammy Award for Pakistan to the Oscar-shortlisted Joyland, Bilal Lashari’s highest-ever grossing Pakistani film The Legend of Maula Jatt and Ali Sethi performing at Coachella music festival, Pakistani people and artists are over the moon, and so is actress Sanam Saeed.
In an interview with The Indian Express, the Zindagi Gulzar Hai famed actress shared her two cents on everything that made the country and the industry proud. The 37-year-old star feels that the industry is “thriving”.
The Kahin Chand Na Sharma Jaye diva chimed in on the industry soaring higher by saying, “There is The Legend of Maula Jatt and Joyland. There is Ali Sethi topping music charts. There are always ups and downs but I think we are on a high right now. Pakistani artists are being celebrated and recognised, whether it is Arooj Aftab, who has been nominated for her second Grammy, Ali Sethi’s Pasoori with Shae Gill, Joyland’s Oscar journey or The Legend of Maula Jatt – that’s a lot of Pakistani globally making waves. We are definitely thriving and booming. Drama is at its peak, music wise Coke Studio will be entering its 15th year and a lot of web series are happening. It is thriving for sure.”
Most recently, Saeed’s web series Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam secured an award at the Promax India awards 2022 in the Best Anthology category. Directed by Meenu Gaur, Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam won at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore.
Elated, Saeed revealed to The Indian Express, “This was a huge win because it was a collaboration between India and Pakistan. Two similar mindsets, cultures, countries coming together to tell a universal story, made mostly by women. The fact that it came from these two nations is proof that when great minds come together, great things happen. You can achieve so much together, it’s a huge support for both team players. It was amazing, satisfying and humbling.”
Keeping in view the importance of more collaborations between Bollywood and Lollywood stars, the Azad star suggested, “There was a time when a lot of collaborations would happen. We had Kara Film Festival, we had Indian actors coming to Pakistan, our actors went there, and Bollywood opened the doors. It has always been a hot and cold situation. We are finally at a place where we don’t get our hopes too high. Each party is very comfortable with where they are in terms of the work they are doing, respectively.”
Discussing the adverse effects of politics between the two countries and the subsequent ban, the Dobara Phir Se actress said, “Politics to come in the middle of art is always crushing for any artist. It is like, ‘Yaar ye kyu beech mein aa raha hai’ (Why is it coming in the middle). We love these people, we want to see more collaborations. So everyone feels that universal pull and sadness. What good will come out of it, we don’t know.” She then revealed she has accepted the situation for what it is. “I guess when once, twice, thrice you are shot down, then you accept the situation and work with what you have. So keeping the hopes high were for the first few times. But we are talking about seven to eight years ago. Now we have all grown up and understood the ways of the world. Now, you have to accept the situation as it is. Always feel proud of what you are doing in the present, wherever you are. Good things will happen at their own time.”
Saeed added, “We always thought that maybe one day we are going to get to work with our favourite directors, producers, actors. It was exciting to think all these opportunities were there, even Indians were excited and were looking for who to cast from here.”
Talking about the impact of Bollywood on Pakistani culture, the diva suggested, “the whole of Pakistan has been raised on Bollywood, from our grandparents to us; we know Madhubala, Kareena Kapoor Khan to now Deepika. We have seen all the generations. We have literally grown-up consuming Bollywood, the song, the dance, the culture, the way they eat, the way they do pooja.”
Enjoying worldwide fame and love from millions of people, Saeed opined, “The amount of love and respect you get from public, the number of opportunities there are… we are spoilt for choice, if we should do films, TV or web shows. The sheer love and adoration that you get from public, I think that has kept all of us alive and going. Unlike Bollywood, we are not unattainable film stars. We are in their house, every day, in their living rooms, with their families. We are part of their families. There is a very deep connection that the public has with us artists because of the intimacy of the connection thanks to the drama industry.”
On the work front, Saeed will next be seen in Ishrat Made in China, Aan, and Umro Ayyar – A New Beginning.