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Faisalabad literary fest concludes: Playwrights, actors see rating frenzy as threat to local drama

Faisalabad literary fest concludes: Playwrights, actors see rating frenzy as threat to local drama

FAISALABAD: The fourth two-day Faisalabad Literary Festival concluded here on Saturday providing an opportunity to the local literature buffs to enjoy live talk by some of their favourite writers and actors on various issues.

Dr Sheeba moderated a session ‘Jo suna afsana tha’ where renowned playwrights Hasina Moin, Asghar Nadeem Syed and novelist Amina Mufti spoke. In another session Kanwal Khoosat talked to the renowned TV and theatre artists Salman Shahid and Sania Saeed. The speakers were of the view that rating frenzy was a serious threat to the Pakistani drama which was pushing the plot towards commercialism. They said in the past the dramatists had to face no such pressures. Similarly, they said, the directors and producers were also being pushed by commercialism.

They also lamented the demise of street theatre and decline of serious plays, mainly blaming it on the rising intolerance in society.




The writers and actors urged the audience to develop interest in the issues related to norms and values of society as only the viewers could beat the trend of commercialism.

The speakers also replied to the questions raised by the audience. Ahsan Ali, a visitor, told Dawn that the festival also provided an opportunity to the locals to purchase quality books and enjoy live talk by prominent figures who had been influencing them since long. He particularly liked the views expressed by Sania Saeed and Salman Shahid.

Another visitor, Khadim Gill, deplored that though the event was held in Faisalabad, not a single writer from the city was invited to the FLF. He suggested that writers from remote areas should also have representation in such events as they had fewer opportunities to become known at national level.

At a session moderated by Dr Najeeb Jamal, Masood Ashar, Dr Anwar Ahmed and Dr Tahira Iqbal spoke on Urdu fiction during the past 70 years.

Veteran film star Shabnum and TV and theatre comedian Sohail Ahmed could not reach Faisalabad to attend the festival because of road blockades because of the ongoing agitation in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and other parts of the country by a religious party’s activists.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2017

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