Ever since the popular Turkish historical series Diriliş Ertuğrul aired in Pakistan on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, it has become a sensation in the country. From wedding entrances to birthday cake, the Ertuğrul fever gripped Pakistan. A group of young YouTubers based in Swat have taken their love for the series one step further and are all set to release a Pashto version of the first season after Eid.
According to a report in Dawn News, the young group hailing from Odigram, a historical town of Swat valley, said they were inspired by the Turkish history series after PTV started broadcasting an Urdu dubbed version.
The group is shooting the series at different locations in the Swat valley, with a majority of the scenes being shot at the seventh-century archaeological site of Raja Gira Castle and 11th century Mahmood Ghaznavi Mosque, both of which are in Odigram town.
Muhammad Abbas, a student of BS Mathematics at the Government Post Graduate Jahanzeb College, is essaying the role of Ertuğrul Ghazi in the drama besides also serving as the producer. Other roles for the dramas have been assigned either according to looks or preference.
Abbas shared that he and his friends watched the popular series during the first wave of COVID-19 and were impressed by the story and action which inspired them to “remake the series in Pashto language” with their own resources. The team behind the project also said that they wanted to show the “glorious history” of Muslims to Pashto-speaking people through this drama.
Abbas said he and his friends collected their pocket money and made wooden swords, axes, shields as well as jackets with low-cost materials. They also made iron swords and leather jackets used in the original Turkish series.
“I also work as a tailor after school so I know how to sew the jackets. Now we are such experts in making the dresses that we receive orders from different parts of the country,” said Abbas.
The youngsters involved in the project are purely driven by their passion because all of them have day jobs – they are either students or shopkeepers. Most of their shoots take place on Friday since it’s their day off.
“We collect money and arrange for good food including biryani or other dishes for the shooting day. So, we shoot the scenes and have fun,” says Abbas.
According to Abbas, shooting for the drama is almost complete and only the post-processing and editing is left, which they will also do themselves despite offers from different editing companies.
Meanwhile, the team said they will also make films on their own historical heroes if they were provided support and story ideas.