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Director Wajahat Rauf responds to criticism on web series ‘Enaaya’

With our film industry finally picking up pace, it seems that we have finally dabbled in the web series area too. Director Wajahat Rauf has recently released a web series titled ‘Enaaya’, in partnership with Eros, starring Mehwish Hayat and Azfar Rehman in lead roles.

The show features Mehwish as Enaaya, a university student and aspiring singer, who will embark on what looks like a musical journey with Jimmy (Azfar Rahman) and his band. While just the first episode has release on YouTube, the show has faced some backlash for its use of abusive language. Mehwish recently took to Instagram to address the criticism. “There is so much more to the show than those two dialogues which are not only a realistic portrayal of today’s youth culture but appropriate to the context of the scene,” she wrote.

We got in touch with director, writer, and producer of ‘Enaaya’, Wajahat Rauf, to talk about the concept behind the show, as well as the criticism it’s facing.

With the internet becoming a great medium for entertainment, do you think web series have the same kind of potential in Pakistan, as they do worldwide?

The real beauty of making content for web is that the audience is unlimited. Since there are no digital platforms in Pakistan, we are doing it for international banners with the hope that we will have our own Netflix and Eros here in Pakistan. With 140 million mobile connections, the potential is unthinkable.

What made you choose this script, and this particular plot line, which is targeted towards a younger audience?

Throughout my career, most of what I’ve written and directed myself has been urban and youth driven. And music is something that I’m very passionate about since I was a kid.

What made you choose Mehwish Hayat as the lead, Enaaya?

Mehwish can pull off any character. And she sings. Need I say more?

How do you think one can make our local film and entertainment industry stronger/better? What do you feel it’s lacking?

More screens, better revenue sharing ratio for producers, timely payments, institutes for training. It’s a very long list but I feel these are some of the most important ones.

 The show has been receiving quite a bit of criticism for its dialogues and content so far, what would you like to say about that?

I read all positive reviews, which were 80 percent. A tweet by Fahad Mustafa about foreign content referred this debate but it was kind of Fahad to clarify what he was referring to. There are only 2 to 3 [abusive] words that are used in a fight in one episode out of twelve. I would request all to first see the entire season and then comment, rather than the other way round.

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