From folk tales to the big screen, the children in Pakistan are soon to get a superhero of their own. Television maestro Rashid Sami, an actor, director, and producer who has been involved in a range of ventures is now hoping to give Pakistan its own local superhero Hatim Tai with his upcoming film.
The industry veteran realizing the untapped market of entertainment for children is making a live action animated film based on the famous Arab character, Hatim Tai. The film entitled “Hatim Tai aur Chalak Churail” is written and directed by Mr. Sami and also the character of Hatim Tai has been played by the man himself.
According to the director, The Pakistani and Indian writers needs to be familiar with their own literature and history so that they can come up with their own heroes. He said, “We need to read more and create characters that are relatable and meaningful. Literature helps a lot in that.”
The drive that we lack our own local iconic character has led Mr. Sami to bring Hatim Tai to the screens saying:
“Hatim Tai is someone we all loved as children. There is a nostalgic value attached to it and it is a great story. To depict the fantasy world of Hatim Tai, we shot in Baltistan. Most of the film takes place in the fantasy world because we wanted to take children on a believable journey. I would say it will have a Harry Potter feel to it.”
For those who don’t know about the Arab legend, Hatim Tai was a famous Arab poet. Qissa-e-Hatem Tai (The Adventures of Hatim Tai) consists of a short introduction describing his ancestors and his own virtues.
The stories are based on seven questions, asked by a beautiful and rich woman Husn Banu, who will marry only the person who will obtain answer these riddles:
- What I saw once, I long for a second time.
- Do good, and cast it upon the waters.
- Do no evil; if you do, such shall you meet with.
- He who speaks the truth is always tranquil.
- Let him bring an account of the mountain of Nida.
- Let him produce a pearl of the size of a duck’s egg
- Let him bring an account of the bath of Bad-gard.
A prince falls in love with her and wanders around, not knowing where to go or what to do meets Hatem Tai by chance. Hatem undertakes to find the answers to the questions for the prince. The story has been dramatized many times in the subcontinent and can bring about a local entertainment for children, who make up 40pc of the population. This is a great move to bolster our own entertainment industry especially after Netflix launching Pakistani shows for viewing. The film is set to release in 2017 but an actual date has not been confirmed yet.