A seasoned Film Director
Aslam Dar is one of the everlasting personalities of Pakistan filmdom. He started his career as film cameraman which was subsequently turned into a film director and producer. He produced twenty six films and directed twenty nine films. Out of his directed films Dil Lagi and Basheera are considered as trend setter films of Pakistan film industry. Being a son of a film journalist and film director M.S. Dar who himself was a great visionary. Way back in 1948, M.S. Dar was wise and mature enough to undertake any film project as film director. Moreover after the independence of Pakistan he realized that all-out possible efforts had to be made for a sound foundation of Pakistan film industry so that in coming times it should stand on its feet confidently. He advocated that as a first step, maximum educated and intellectual minds must be encouraged to entered into the field of film making. Like his father, though basically Aslam Dar is film director but he is always remembered and seen in the front row of any platform representing Pakistan film industry in TV media, press or on across the table of any Government level official forum. Aslam Dar is very determined to do something for the uplift and elevation of dying Film industry of Pakistan.
Aslam Dar is son of renowned film journalist and editor of English film magazines Movie Flash, Film Pictorial and film director Muhammad Shafi Dar commonly known as M.S. Dar. As a child he was inclined towards creative art and wanted to become painting artist, to further polish himself and to acquire the basic fundamentals his desire was to go to France for higher education pertaining to art, literature and culture. But later on he heard from some scholar that that photography was not allowed in Islam he diverted his attention from painting. Since his father was in showbiz media so many film artists used to visit his house to meet his him so this showbiz atmosphere developed a natural affection of young Aslam with films.
He started watching films on cinema very regularly and with the passage of time as he grew up, this magic of light became a phantasy world for Aslam. Resultantly focused his all attention on film world and just after matriculation examination he wanted to get into film line through film studios. But his parents opposed him as they wanted that their son must acquire high education and then induct himself in some government high official post just like every parents. But young Aslam was determined to accomplish his dream phantasy and for that he almost revolted against his parents. After seeing his son’s passion M.S. Dar allowed young Aslam to get into filmdom as at that time he himself had started directing films. And basically it was his encouragement that placed a sound foundation of film technicalities and knowledge for Aslam Dar’s succeeding professional career.
Aslam Dar entered into film industry as assistant cameraman. He remained under study and worked as assistant cameraman with Jafar Shah and Raza Mir the renowned cinematographers of that time. After spending a requisite period as assistant cameraman he became a passionate cameraman and worked in thirty five films as cinematographer / cameraman that includes Chhomantar (1958), Raqasa (1965) and Dulla Bhatti (1956) which was directed by his father M.S. Dar. List of films as cameraman
Career as Film Director
During working as cameraman he closely observed renowned film director like S.M. Yousaf, Munshi Dil, Aslam Irani, Anwar Kamal Pasha and he concluded that after directing a film the director had to wait for another film producer or financer for next film and that to if the previous film went fine otherwise in case of failure film the financer will give thousand thoughts to hire the same film director for his next project. Aslam also determined that for continuity in film direction, a director must be self-sufficient in regard to its finances. After delivering very good work he wanted to work as film director because during working as cameraman, in certain situations he was not even satisfied with the decision of director but as he had to obey his director and afterward results were precisely as he anticipated. A few producers contacted him for their films but Aslam placed following conditions to work for them as film director.
- First condition was that he would not charge any amount for film direction rather he would claim 25% share of the overall film profit after release.
- Producer will not interfere in film affairs even in the selection of its cast as well.
Obviously no financer was ready to work him with such condition until after ten years Mian Mushtaq got agreed with whom Aslam Dar had already worked in films like as cameraman. Mian Mushtaq gave him liberty even to select the theme and story of the film as well. So he selected a very unique story plot and directed Dara which was based on the story of famous character Tarzan, selected a bodybuilder actor Nusrullah Butt as hero with Rani in lead role. On release film got success at the box office and gave good platform for his next film Akhri Chitan which was another good film so thats how he got Rupees 82000 as his 25% share of both films. The success of his two debut films gave lot of confidence to Aslam Dar as film director so much that in his preceding film Sakhi Lutera he was 50% partner of the film as producer.
In 1972, he made his first Punjabi film Basheera and for main role he selected a “B” class actor Sultan Rahi. His well-wishers advised him that instead Sultan Rahi Sawan should be casted as hero of the film. But Aslam Dar was determined and confident that for this specific role he was the best choice as Sultan Rahi had acted in almost every film of Aslam Dar who had seen him working and was impressed with his devotion and dedication to his professional obligations so promised Sultan Rahi that in some of his film compatible to his personality he would take Sultan Rahi as hero. On completion of Basheera, mostly film distributors were reluctant to take on the film primarily because of Sultan Rahi. So he inaugurated his own film distribution office but still there was silence from cinema film exhibitors. Finally Aslam Dar requested owner of Sanober cinema Lahore to release the film without any advance as it was almost eight months that film was through with censor board but was yet not released. In those days cinema owner used to give share to distributor basing upon the cast and repute of the film, moreover, Sanober cinema was earmarked for second run films. Anyways, owner of the Sanober cinema was halfheartedly agreed to release the film without paying any money. On its release, Basheera proved a super hit film and hit the box office which was indeed a miracle. Basheera not only did a record business but gave Sultan Rahi who was such unique hero to Pakistan Film Industry who changed the film trend and remained hero till his death in 1996 and created a film history record in the Gunnies Book of World Record as actor who appeared in maximum films in main lead role as hero. Aslam Dar also received the best Director Nigar Award for the year 1972.
After Basheera, Zarq Khan was good film but once again in 1974, he directed another super hit film Dil Lagi which is still an everlasting film of Nadeem and Shabnam. Shabnam and Lehri received the best actress and best Comedy actor Nigar award of this film. Keeping the popularity of this film Indian film Sajan Ka Ghar was ditto copy of Dil Lagi.
Waada was another hit film on Aslam Dar’s credential which was a fine and classic standard film. In film cast Waheed Murad, Aasia, Deeba, Lehri, Munawar Zareef and Allaoudin gave best of their performance but Waheed’s enactment was superb and very impressive. Though this film was unable to receive any film award but had it place in history of Pakistan film history. afterward he direceted some master piece films which includes Seyyan Anari, Barey Mian Deewaney, Pehli Nazar, Anokha Daj, and Ishq Nacha ve Gali Gali and so far his last film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna which was released in 1998.
Due to his devoted services to cinematic world he was earmarked as lifetime chairman of the Pakistan Film Directors Association.
In 1974, Aslam Dar introduced Durdana Rehman in Dil Lagi as an extra during the last scene of the film once the lead hero character (played by Nadeem) is singing and on the other hand heroine is getting married, young Durdana Rehman is doing bridal makeup to the heroine (played by Shabnam).
Subsequently, Aslam Dar helped her in making her place in films. According to Asalm Dar, “during that period he felt that Durdana Rehman was unlike other actresses of the film world, she was very innocent and possessed very positive approach”, these emotions brought Aslam Dar very closed with Durdana. Consequently it developed some affection which resulted into their marriage. Due to some obvious reasons Aslam never disclosed their marriage to the showbiz even his own family was unaware of the fact. They remained together for almost five to six years and at the end they divorced each other. During this period Durdana Rehman was the heroine of his couple of films which included Ishq Nacha ve Gali Gali, which was a big hit at box office. Previously, the marriage with Durdana Rehman, factually disturbed Aslam’s matrimonial life but their divorced cooled down the heat of misapprehension. Though the first wife of Aslam was almost uneducated but she was very intelligent and temperate lady who buoyed very well to her miffed husband. Almost they remained married for forty years and lived very happily until her death in 2005 due to heart attack as being diabetic.
Demise of the Director
Aslam Dar suddenly had high blood pressure on 24 December 2014 and he was evacuated to Behria Town Hospital where in spite of all out efforts by the doctors finally he died on the same date. His funeral was held at Behria Grand Mosque on 25 December 2014.
Filmography of Aslam Dar
All films of Aslam Dar are enumerated below, which include his film Chronological, Alphabetical, Language wise, detailed statistics is as under:
- Films as cameraman – 35
- Films as Director – 30
- Urdu Films as Director – 16
- Punjabi Films as Director – 13
- DV Films as Director – 1
Aslam Dar’s Films as Director
Filmography – (Chronological)
Filmography – (Alphabetical)
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