Pakistan: Harry Potter’s magical Hogwarts world now inside vintage GC University, Lahore campus

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After the Great War, Harry and his friends killed the Dark Lord

Many hundred years have passed, but still

There are believers that dark forces will once again rise

And bring chaos to the magical world…

What happens in the world of Harry Potter years after the death of Lord Voldemort? The quest to find an answer is what inspired a group of youngsters from Government College University, Lahore to come up with a film on the subject.

Titled ‘The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort’, the film is all set for a grand release and screening on Monday (November 29), during a week-long Harry Potter festival that the university will host till December 5. This comes a decade after the last Harry Potter film, ‘The Deathly Hallows Part-2’, was released in 2011.

The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort’ casts students and alumni of GC University (Credit: Khayaali Productions)

The effort is a labour of love as it hopes to invoke the nostalgia of the magical hallways of Hogwarts, with wizards armed with wands, Quidditch stadiums brimming with spectators, the threat of death-eaters and the idiosyncrasies of the Ministry of Magic. The film’s trailer throws up an interesting surprise—the 156-year-old vintage campus of GC University in Lahore, which came into existence in 1864, has been reimagined to match the ambience of huge, dark and magical castle-like campus of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Rowling’s seven-part fictional book series had taken millions of Harry Potter fans into a distinct world. The popular Harry Potter films were shot across multiple locations across the UK, including Alnwick Castle.

‘The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort’ casts students and alumni of GC University, who with wands in their hands and House scarves around their neck, look to be engrossed in their setting as they try to cast a spell. The students of Hogwarts in Rowling’s books were divided into four Houses—Slytherin, Gryffindor (Harry Potter belonged to this House), Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

GC University in Lahire has been reimagined as Hogwarts in the film (Credit: Khayaali Productions)

Speaking to The Indian Express, university alumna Marian Hassan Naqvi, who acted in the film and is also the content head with Khayaali Productions, said that the film is the product of an idea that started taking shape way back in 2018 after a group of Harry Potter fans from the varsity realised that their own campus had striking similarities with Hogwarts.

“We started working on the project way back in 2018 but Covid-19 delayed some re-shoots. Looking at the beautiful architecture of our campus, we, a group of Harry Potter fans, always used to imagine that we can create our own Hogwarts here. Our film has different characters and storylines but it is based on the Harry Potter theme. In the film, we take the story ahead on what happens years after Harry Potter and his friends had eliminated Lord Voldemort. We have also tried to focus on the power of true friendship like that of Harry, Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley,” said Naqvi.

The film focuses on what happens years after Harry Potter and his friends had eliminated Lord Voldemort. (Credit: Khayaali Productions)

Directed by Waleed Akram, the CEO of Khayaali Productions, the film for the time being can be viewed during week-long screenings at GC University campus via pre-bookings (on which can cost 300 PKR per pass (valid for both film screening and festival).

Naqvi said that as of now, the team hasn’t faced any opposition or hindrance from Islamic fundamentalists. “Such an event is being organised in Pakistan for the first time. There are some curious comments on our social media profiles. But fortunately, there hasn’t been any opposition yet,” she said.

The team has also been trying to get in touch with Rowling but has not had any luck yet. “We want her to see and respond to the effort we have put in. We are yet to get a response from her,” said Naqvi.

For a ‘Muggle’ (a real-world human being), it is the right time to visit GC University Lahore campus till December 5 and experience the wizardry world of Hogwarts from Rowling’s enchanting books as the campus will retain the look till festival is on!

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