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How Lahore Potterheads recreated Hogwarts on shoestring budget

GCU students have released their own Harry Potter film

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 1, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Dec 1, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Imagine the enchanted ceiling, floating candles, Sorting Hat, wand duelling and JK Rowling’s spells hovering not at Hogwarts but Government College University in Lahore. 

If you still want to believe you will wake up to a letter from a school of magic, The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Lord Voldemort is here to show you witchcraft and wizardry in Pakistan. 

A Harry Potter week is in full swing at the GCU during which the fan-made The Last Follower was screened on Monday. There had been a great hype around the project since the trailer was released on social media as the GCU’s magical makeover makes it look remarkably similar to JK Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

So if you have been waiting for a Harry Potter movie since 2011, Khayali Productions’ The Last Follower will tell you that all is not well in the Wizarding World.

“We really wanted to pursue something different,” Waleed Akram, director of the fan-made Harry Potter movie, said on SAMAA TV’s show Naya Din. According to him, the production began in 2017 with limited resources and students contributed towards the ambitious project from their own pockets. However, with the project came a number of challenges. 

“To produce fantasy is very difficult owing to visual effects,” Waleed said. “The building had to be shown amid mountains in the movie so creating that environment was really difficult.”

The film was shot entirely at the GCU. Unlike the four houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw) in original films, students were represented by a single house in The Last Follower.

“We kept in mind that it was a fan-made film and had no connection with the original story,” said Waleed. 

The shoot took six to seven months and the visual effects almost a year. The Last Follower was scheduled for release earlier this year but was held back when the pandemic struck.

Waleed added that cinemas and big producers should encourage and showcase work by aspiring young filmmakers.

 Harry Potter Week will be celebrated till December 5, 2021. 

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