Noted journalist, intellectual, writer and film director Ahmed Bashir died of liver cancer at the Services Hospital Lahore on December 25, 2004. He was 81. Born in Aimanabad near Gujranwala on March 24, 1923, Bashir did his BA from Srinagar and went to Bombay for a career in acting, where he ended up in writing for film magazines and contributed considerably to film journalism.
After partition, worked for several newspapers in Pakistan, however, he is remembered for his days at Daily Imroze with particular fondness. Ahmed Bashir also worked for the Department of Films & Publications and later for National Film Development Corporation (NAFDEC).
Among the several books that Bashir wrote, the most talked about is Jo Milay Thay Raaste Mein. This book contains pen sketches of eminent literary personalities of the like of Kishwar Naheed, Safdar Mir and Mumtaz Mufti.
In 1968, Ahmed Bashir, trained in film direction from Hollywood, directed and produced Neela Parbat, under the banner of Filmotopia. Neela Parbat was Pakistan's one of earliest experimental feature films. The film starred Muhammad Ali, Husna, Shahnawaz (Senior), Komal, Talish and Kamal Irani. Komal portrayed the sensual play thing for Mohammad Ali, both of whom did fine, but the whole film was dominated by Talish - that unparalleled character-actor of Pakistan. Ustad Abdul Qadir Piya Rang, one of the senior classical music vocalist of his times, composed the music for this film.
Neela Parbat was a harrowing tail of lust, greed and sexual infidelity. Because of the steamy scenes of the side heroine Komal, the film was declared Pakistan's first 'adults only'. The film proved to be too much of a alternative genre in our commercially dominated cinema. It flopped, mainly because very few could understand the psychological movie and its symbolic connotations.
The film, certainly inspired by universal rhetoric about parallel cinema, could not compete with the mediocrity of the times- love stories laced with middle class social awareness.
After the failure of Neela Parbat, Bashir never ventured in to film making or production.
Ahmed Bashir was brother of short story writer Begum Perveen Atif, and father of poetess Neelam Bashir and television actress Bushra Ansari.