Exclusive: Munir Hussain talks ‘Janaan’ to BizAsia

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'Janaan', Munir Hussain of Munir Hussain Productions UK
‘Janaan’, Munir Hussain of Munir Hussain Productions UK

In a marketing first, the makers of the film, together with UK marketing agency, House Of Advertising, got the teaser of its first television outing on UK screens during the India v Pakistan match in the World Twenty20 today.

In an exclusive on BizAsiaLive.com, we caught up with the man behind the innovative strategy – the co-producer of ‘Janaan’, Munir Hussain of Munir Hussain Productions UK (Pepe�۪s Piri Piri Group).

Tell us more about your involvement with ‘Janaan’?
I am co-producing Janaan with Imran Raza Kazmi of IRK Films. Imran is the heart and soul of the project and I am sincerely grateful to him for allowing me to work with him. Janaan is a team effort and the whole production team should take credit for this exciting project. Our director, Azfar Jafri, is an amazing talent who is visionary, creative and a great people�۪s person. Everyone involved with this exciting film have done an amazing job, from every member of the cast, to the entire film crew, and then all involved in the post production.

[quote]The Pakistani movie industry has entered a new and exciting era. There is an immense amount of talent, creativity and passion that is taking the industry to new heights.[end_quote]

You’re background has been running the successful Pepe’s Piri Piri Group; so where did the interest of film production come about?
I have had a lifelong passion for films and when the opportunity to work with Imran came up I invited my friend and highly respected business colleague, Mr Shiraz Lakhani, who joined me on this venture.

You’re pulling out all the stops to promote ‘Janaan’ and working with House Of Advertising closely on this, tell us more about your relationship?
House of Advertising is a young and vibrant company and we have been working with them for the past four years with Pepe�۪s. With the move into film production we have worked closely with House of Advertising to develop the best possible launch for Janaan. Our distribution partners ARY Films are supporting us with some exciting plans.

How did the idea of promoting ‘Janaan’ during the India-Pakistan cricket match in the World Twenty20 arise?
I was at the film set of Janaan in Pakistan and having discussions about which events would have mass following from Pakistan and India when my co-producer and Imran�۪s partner, Hareem Farooq, came up with idea of the India v Pakistan match. So all credit to Hareem for this fantastic idea!

What is your strategy for ‘Janaan’ and what outcomes do you wish to achieve from the Sky Sports and other campaigns?
Our strategy is multi-faceted as we wish to achieve maximum exposure for Janaan so the movie becomes a box office success but at the same time we want to showcase the talent of Pakistan, the beauty of the country and encourage positive global development of the industry. The marketing campaigns will support the growth and development of our cast and crew who have worked so hard on the film. Armeena Rana Khan, Bilal Ashraf and Ali Rehman Khan are wonderful talents, Mishi Khan, Nayyar Ejaz and Ajab Gul bring their experience and fantastic screen presence to the fore and upcoming stars like Hania Aamir, Usman Mukhtar, Saad Zia Abbasi and Shafqat Khan are all very special and I am confident will win many hearts.

Pakistani movies are at an all-time high, with the change in direction and bigger budgets, what’s your take on this?
The Pakistani movie industry has entered a new and exciting era. There is an immense amount of talent, creativity and passion that is taking the industry to new heights. My approach is to encourage and support the industry through developing systems, structures and processes which give strong foundations for future growth. We will ��give back�۪ and ��add value�۪ through initiatives that not only benefit our company but the wider industry. We have announced a scholarship programme for those working on Munir Hussain Productions / IRK Films to help develop and grow talent which will give individuals the ability to learn new skills and add value to the industry. The post production of Janaan was managed by Kantana Post Production in Thailand who provided us with excellent facilities, the latest technology and hands on support throughout the process. We have agreed a training programme with them that will allow individuals from Pakistan to spend time at their institute to further their knowledge, skills and personal development.

[quote]Being based in the UK we can open new routes to market and use our vast network for the benefit of our production house but also for the benefit of the Pakistani film industry and the image of the country.[end_quote]

Is film production the line Munir Hussain Productions will be moving into?
Yes, we are planning further projects and have signed our second movie with IRK Films which is currently in pre-production. We are also sponsoring Arijit Singh Live in Concert in the UK this July playing at four major venues in partnership with Rock On Music.

What is the future for Munir Hussain Productions?
Mr Lakhani and I both feel that with the right people involved and an approach of creating win-win relationships, the long term future is bright for us and our partners. Being based in the UK we can open new routes to market and use our vast network for the benefit of our production house but also for the benefit of the Pakistani film industry and the image of the country. Imran Raza Kazmi and Hareem Farooq of IRK Films have been a force of strength and we look forward to collaborating with them on many future projects.

Also Read:
Sky Sports airs ��Janaan�۪ teaser during WT20 match

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