Haider Rifaat

Haider Rifaat

The author is a model, actor, talk show host and writer for fashion magazines OK! Pakistan and Good Times. He is a columnist and writer for Express Tribune, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer. He is currently the creator and host of Pakistan's first ever web talk show on YouTube titled 'The Haider Rifaat Show' and is set to make his film debut in '24 Hours'. He tweets @HaiderRifaat (twitter.com/HaiderRifaat).

More than just an actor: In conversation with Sheheryar Munawar

While viewers in Pakistan know Sheheryar Munawar as a leading man and as one of the bright new faces of Pakistan’s resurgent film industry, many may be unaware of the work he carries out behind the camera. We have seen Munawar act in a string of successful dramas and films, but do we know him well enough as a filmmaker? In this interview, Munawar talks about what keeps him motivated, what the future holds for him, and if he’ll ever be donning the director’s hat. Photo by author Parey Hut Love has emerged as a critical and commercial success. How does ...

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Heer Maan Ja: And the award for the best Eidul Azha film goes to…

With three star-studded films released on Eidul Azha – Heer Maan Ja, Parey Hut Love and Superstar – the competition to succeed at the box office was fierce. In this race for ratings, Heer Maan Ja truly stood out for its unique narrative. IRK Films introduced us to the world of Heer (Hareem Farooq), a young soon-to-be-married woman on the run from her conservative family. However, along with its entertainment aspect, the movie propelled its viewers to reflect on its hidden message about honour killing as well. Including a socially important message, Heer Maan Ja fulfilled its duty of responsible filmmaking. All in all, the movie emerged as a winner ...

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What/If: Defying the norms of conventional television

It is no secret that modern day television has become more mainstream than it is creative. Unappealing stories, poor writing and constant recycling of antiquated ideas for TV have pushed away viewers who seek something unique and out of the blue for their entertainment. This is where the new Netflix neo-noir thriller What/If comes in, for it defies the norms of conventional television. Based on what I believe to be the concept of opportunity cost – something to lose, something to gain – the premise centres on the notion of power used by the privileged as an effective tool to manipulate the disadvantaged. Academy-award ...

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In conversation: Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar talk about Laal Kabootar and life behind the camera

This Friday, we will get to witness two new Pakistani films compete rigorously at the box office: the patriotic film Sherdil, and the thriller Laal Kabootar. I met the leading duo of the latter, Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar, to talk about more than just the movie. In a light, fruitful conversation, I dig deep into their personal lives. So let’s get to know them like never before! Talking about your thrilling new venture Laal Kabootar, what is the film’s premise? Pasha: The movie centres on Karachi. It is sort of like a melting pot, with our characters belonging ...

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In conversation with Faysal Manzoor Khan, the man behind Pakistan’s dramas and its culture

Unsung heroes often work behind the camera, working relentlessly to ensure everything is on point. It starts with a paper and pen and ends with a compilation, a script. It is about time I shine the spotlight on Faysal Manzoor Khan, a talented Pakistani producer and content creator responsible for the entertainment we regularly witness on screen. He has made a mark nationally with many successful and acclaimed dramas that Pakistanis hold dear to this day. As Faysal unveils his personal side, he speaks to me about his past achievements and future projects. Tell me about yourself! I was born on ...

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Before you post that selfie on Insta, know that Penn Badgley is watching ‘You’

My latest TV obsession is as dark as it gets – a series based on the bestselling novel You, starring Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail and Shay Mitchell in the lead roles. This is Badgley’s second time experimenting with a negative character, as he previously exemplified the notorious gossip girl in Gossip Girl for six years. The premise of You revolves around Joe (Badgley), a bookstore manager who falls head over heels for a lousy writer, Beck (Lail). They say, looks can be deceiving, and this description rightly fits Joe’s erratic personality. Beck exchanges a few words with Joe while shopping for ...

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In conversation with the multifaceted Ali Zafar: “There is no better service than a Pakistani working in India the right way”

A global superstar at the moment, Ali Zafar is a man of all seasons. Not only is he multifaceted, having achieved success as a musician and an actor, but he also puts his heart and soul into everything he does. He has now made an incredibly successful Lollywood debut as well, as the producer and lead actor in this year’s Teefa in Trouble. In an exclusive interview, I learnt about Zafar’s current projects, Bollywood and marriage. You started singing at a very young age and have since established yourself as one of the leading contemporary singers in South Asia. What ...

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In conversation with Hamza Ali Abbasi: “It is shameful if you are not political in a country such as Pakistan”

Actors may be good at what they do, but only a few stand out, and one such actor is none other than Hamza Ali Abbasi. He walks in his own truth, and exudes passion in his craft. There is no denying his presence for sure! Apart from being a great actor, Hamza is extremely political, as the nation watches him discussing matters of pertinence on TV every day. In a riveting interview, I learnt more about Hamza in his own words. Was acting always what you intended to do, or was it a different career path for yourself? I believe acting ...

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Up close and personal with Ghana Ali, Pakistan’s rising star who demands recognition

In a matter of only three years, Ghana Ali has established herself as one of Pakistan’s most promising leading ladies in films and on television. She is determined to portray diverse characters in the future, and is also working on two television projects at the moment. Ghana secured a role and got noticed in last year’s Rangreza; though not commercially successful, she persevered in the recent comedy, Maan Jao Na. Alongside these developments, the glamorous 24-year-old spoke about her forthcoming film. She hasn’t disclosed anything pertinent about it yet, but I will surely dig into it! Till then, let’s hear it ...

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Up close and personal with the graceful and effortless Aamina Sheikh and why ‘Cake’ is going to be one delicious treat!

Actress Aamina Sheikh is set to grace the big screen with her dramatic role as Zareen in the upcoming drama film ‘Cake’, which is set to release this March. Her command on acting and dialogue delivery is impeccable! The depth of characters she portrays effortlessly on screen is unconventional for Pakistani dramas and films. I chatted with Sheikh and talked about her upcoming film, how she juggles her personal and professional life, and her experience working on Miss Veet, Pakistan. How did you venture into acting? Throughout my academic career, I did theatre as an extracurricular. I was always involved in the ...

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