‘Baat Kahan Thehri Hai‘ on Day 2 on Saturday was moderated by Sarmad Khoosat and it featured a discussion on theatre, TV and Film among Irfan Khoosat, Navid Shehzad, Samiya Mumtaz and Samina Peerzada. Sarmad began the session by asking the panelists about their fondest memories of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Samiya Mumtaz said she remembered him as the man who always had a smile on his face and a cigarette in his mouth. She said Faiz would always welcome her with the phrase ‘Aur Sunao, Kya Chal Raha Hai’. The discussion soon moved to the panelists’ personal journeys. Samina Peerzada recalled that her debut film was Nazdikiyan in 1986. It was directed by her husband Usman Peerzada. She said she had an offer to work for another movie as well but she could not convince her husband to let her to work in it. “At the press conference, Usman announced my name among the cast and I was so shocked, that’s how I landed my debut film,” said Perzada, who won an award for the role. About mainstream movies, she said she had always dreamed of becoming a dancer and wanted to be like Mina Kumari. She said dancing was a taboo topic in her family. “After my first dance performance for a movie, I started crying because I remembered how my father was very strict when it came to this.” On the other hand, Samiya Mumtaz had started dancing at an early age of seven years. She said she practiced it religiously for 11 years. However, this was the time when we used to practice in rehearsal rooms and behind the scenes only. Mumtaz studied theatre abroad and returned to work for Ajoka, which initially sparked her interest in dancing. As the session progressed, veteran actor Navid Shehzad talked about how cinema and watching movies was a huge deal for people back in the days. “Cinema for me is a subconscious journal,” she said. There was a time when going to the cinema to watch movies wasn’t seen as a ‘good thing to do’ by most people, yet people are now embracing cinema once again For a person who never thought she’d end up in cinema, Shehzad said she considered the field as a pictorial journal of all thoughts and desires raging in one’s subconscious. “It is the perfect outlet to portray them in a creative way,” she said. Irfan Khoosat stated that cinema at this point was undergoing a revival. He said he hoped that the younger generation would bring about something new and different for the audience, which was a good thing for the people. Sarmad continued the discussion on the revival of cinema. He said that there was a time when going to the cinema to watch movies wasn’t termed as a ‘good thing to do’ by most people, yet people were now embracing cinema once again. Perzada also talked about her movie Inteha whose plot was based on the issue of domestic violence. “These kind of stories need to be put forward. I did a lot of research before executing it,” she said. “I wanted to portray stereotypical characters and use them to tell stories.” Perzada continued and said, “I have certain principles that I keep in mind before taking up a project, especially the portrayal of women.” Shehzad followed up, shedding light on her role in Punjab Nahi Jaon Gi. She stated that those engaged with the cinema industry felt the need to go all out to make their point, adding a lot of characters to the script, but that was not necessary. “A strong storyline is needed to bring your vision to life,” she said. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, November 20th 2017.