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Covid-19 has hit Pakistan entertainment industry hard: Ch Moazzam Ishaq

LAHORE: Talented young actor, Khamoshi star Ch Moazzam Ishaq has underlined the impact that the global covid-19 pandemic has had on the entertainment industry in Pakistan. With many projects shelved and others cancelled, Ishaq believes that few have been hit as badly as Pakistan’s entertainment industry.

“It is one of the hardest-hit industries in Pakistan and all over the world. The entertainment industry cannot run without people gathering for shoots, award ceremonies, and other gatherings,” says the Do Bol actor.

On the pandemic front, many Pakistani actors like Mahira Khan were infected with covid-19, while others are playing a role in generating awareness regarding the vaccine. “Talat Hussain and Samina Pirzada are leading by example and have gotten the vaccine,” notes Ishaq.

The star of the film Arc Agenda maintains that the film industry is suffering immensely as well owing to the pandemic. “The film industry got two-fold damage in these times. Firstly, films set to get released could not be released as the cinemas were closed,” says Ishaq.

The Legend of Maula Jutt starring Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi due to come out on Eid ul Fitr 2020 got delayed. Hamayun Saeed’s London Nahi Jaungi, sequel to Punjab Nahi Jaungi could not get shot.

Television faced a similar predicament. The last episodes of the drama series Kashf and Sabaat were missing as they could not get shot. Ramzan transmissions last year did not have as many segments as before. Osman Khalid Butt’s Ramzan Show on Hum TV with Mira Sethi could not even get recorded completely.

However, Ishaq says that digital realms and social media provided some space to young and upcoming artists amid the pandemic.

“I’m glad that social media brought many upcoming Pakistani’s success even in these tough times. The young singer Annural Khalid rose to fame and now she has over a hundred and fifty thousand followers on Instagram. If it wasn’t for social media platforms like YouTube, she could not have been able to release her new song Dil De Bol a few months ago,” he says.

Ishaq believes YouTube has also helped talented young people who have now become influencers like Raza Samo and Junaid Akram. However, the Haasil actor believes the established celebrities have it much better as compared to and coming artists.

“We can say that it is a different ball game for established stars as compared to the new ones. Other actors of my age like Ali Gul Pir and Bilaal Khan would agree with me when I say that it is unnaturally difficult to enter the Pakistani film and television industry,” believes Ishaq.

“On the other hand, those who are established or have family members that are influential get things opportunities unlike any other,” he adds.

Despite the multipronged struggle, the young actor is motivated to do his best and continue to build on the successes he has achieved early on in his career.

“I plan to venture into entrepreneurship. Having my own production business just like Fahad Mustafa has successfully done, does seem like a lucrative opportunity to me,” he says.

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