Seedlings: Taking root

Published: November 28, 2011

Seedlings is a story about a young couple that is struck by tragedy. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Gohar Rasheed. PHOTO:PUBLICITY Director Mansoor Mujahid. PHOTO:PUBLICITY Aamina Sheikh-photo-publicity. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY Seedlings is a story about a young couple that is struck by tragedy. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY
KARACHI: 

This year has proved to be a good year for Pakistani cinema; from Bol to Bhai Log, viewers had the chance to experience different genres. A number of other films such as Rafina, Waar and Kaptaan are underway and one film that has a lot of expectation attached to it is Seedlings. The film is an initiative of the makers of Kolachi; a sci-fi film that shows Karachi’s state after an apocalypse-like disaster hits the city.

“Our focus is on Seedlings these days, but Kolachi is also underdevelopment,” state Summer Nicks and Meher Jaffri , who are the co-producers of the film along with Craig Peter Jones. “Kolachi will hopefully enter the pre-production phase in early 2012.”

The team works under the banner of Bodhicitta Film Works and has been associated with many small-scale to medium-scale ventures.

Seedlings may come as a surprise to many, because unlike the team’s previous project Kolachi, the film is an everyday human interest story told in a unique way. Seedlings is an Urdu film (its Urdu title yet to be confirmed) starring Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza and Gohar Rasheed in the lead roles and has Hira Tareen, Mehreen Rafi and Tara Mahmood in supporting roles. It has been directed by Mansoor Mujahid and shot by Faraz Iqbal, the same young duo who was behind the promotion video of Kolachi.

“The story is a about a couple and the rush of emotions they experience when tragedy strikes,” says Nicks, who has also written the film. “The thing that I most liked about the film is that it’s not about political corruption, terrorism, socio-economic constraints or any other tragedy that we read in the paper and see on television every day,” says Mujahid. “To be precise, Seedlings  is very real.”

The young film-maker has high hopes from his first feature-length directorial. “The challenge was to present a cliched topic in a different manner,” says Mujahid who is ready to handle the criticism which Seedlings may face. “There will be people who like it and there will be those who dislike it, but everyone would agree that it is a different film.”

On the other hand, Jaffri, who is the co-producer of the project, has bigger issues to tackle, one of which is the distribution of the film in Pakistan and abroad. She is confident about the quality of Seedlings, but is still skeptical about the distribution of the film because of the depreciating economic conditions. “If everything goes according to the plan then it will definitely screen in cinemas in India and in Europe. The films is good and the success of films like Bol show that Pakistanis abroad are very supportive of Pakistani films,” says an optimistic Jaffri.

Seedlings also features 21-year-old musician Usman Riaz, who has written the score of the film. Having Riaz on board makes Seedlings a project to look forward to by both cinema and music enthusiasts.

Even though Nicks, Jaffri and Mujahid have different responsibilities in the company, the entire creative team as a whole, was full of praise for the acting capability, and more importantly, the professional attitude of Aamina Sheikh and Mohib Mirza.

“They were more passionate than us and always acted like actors and not celebrities,” says the Seedlings team. “When we were planning to turn the rough cuts into a telefilm, they were the ones who pushed us to go for the big screen. All in all, we are spellbound by the acting and the professionalism of the couple.”

Bodhicitta Works has just wrapped up production and have entered into the post-production stage. The team is looking for local media partnerships, sponsorships and distribution channel within Pakistan. So far, Australian company, Onion Films has shown interest in buying the rights of distribution internationally.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Salman
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:26PM

    I see a big future.Recommend

  • correct option
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:48PM

    best of luck :)

    Recommend

  • Cherish
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:26AM

    In Pakistan ‘filmmakers’ get famous and grab all media attention even before they have made a single film. All that these so called filmmakers have to do is to release a trailer, hire a Westerner for the PR campaigh ( Australian/Canadian/British/New Zealander) and brag about there still unreleased film and why they are going to be the future Hitchcocks and Scorseses. Why do not these guys grab a camera and start shooting instead of bragging?

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  • Googush
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:02AM

    @Cherish

    They are, in case you didn’t read the article.

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  • Naima
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:24PM

    @cherish

    the films already been shot my dear. Its called a promotional campaign. Im sure someone of your age and stature would know that.Recommend

  • A Review about "A Review about: Nothing"
    Dec 1, 2011 - 8:29AM

    How can Kolachi be their “previous project” if pre-production for it hasn’t even begun? There’s either something very Emperor’s New Clothes about this… or it’s a stupid typo by the writer. So… which one is it? Why is Seedlings “going to be a surprise to many” when all anyone knows about these filmmakers comes from a 3 minute trailer?

    Seriously ET editors, stop with the PR copy and demand from your writers that if they can’t be (justly) critical, they can at least make sense.

    Recommend

  • Bogus
    Dec 1, 2011 - 11:04AM

    @Cherish: I agree, people need to talk less and do more. But not everyone is like that, take Serious filmmakers like Shoaib Mansoor for an example, is so discreet about his work and we only know about it when it is made! Also the team of this upcoming Pakistani independent film Tamanna are concentrating on the production and have not released any details or hype despite creating a stir with a track by Rahat Fateh Ali. They have not disclosed any details to the media. Serious filmmakers talk less and do more and serious filmmakers like Shoaib Mansoor and the Tamanna team who are dedicated to serious cinema, take on alternative subjects and have a good attitude can change perceptions. Not these wannabe film noobs.

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  • Oh dear
    Dec 2, 2011 - 9:55PM

    You won’t see real filmmakers at parties gts and tv. you will see them on set or offices keeping a low profile and doing their job. A note to all new filmmakers :ENOUGH TALK ALREADY. i know a good filmmaker when i see less talk and more work, and in Pakistan that is only Shoaib Mansoor (whatever the debate is on his capabilities, he gets the job done) and Steve Moore (from UK) who has spent time getting to know the culture of the region and living like an ordinary citizen and not in the diplomatic enclave and is a true artist. How many times have you seen these gentlemen on television or interviews? How many parties have they attended or seen their pictures taken for GT magazine? These men are the REAL deal! Wake up Pakistan, and learn some humility, and go through a process of evolution before making tall claims. Sheesh.

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  • Sonia B
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:01PM

    Kolachi is a trailer, they have not even started production on it yet as stated in the article, so how can you say from the makers of kolachi. In this article the writer has contradicted the producer. Also the writers and producers have told people that Kolachi is a movie already released, so it is not the writer of this articles fault. Although a fact check would have been prudent. On another note, i saw the movie at a private screening and beside good acting by amina, mohib & tara, the movie was nothing special and dragged on a lot. The director could have done a much better job and the film from a visual perspective was extremely amateurish. The story was nothing unique but still good; in the end it did not come out well on film and lacked in many aspects from substandard audio to an editing train-wreck. In my opinion a very disappointing movie which had a lot of potential. All said and done, i still do wish it does well as pakistani cinema needs some revitalizing.

    Recommend

  • I.K
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:47AM

    @ Sonia B,
    I was also at that ‘focus group’ screening which by no means was not the completed film but an extremely rough cut that invitees were given to assess the progress of the film to date (did you not receive the questionnaires that were used to assess and continue with post work), in the same way you would do a focus group screening for any film in the rest of the normal world of film making. I went in the knowing very well it is not the final product, (as you do with all screenings). Your points of the film were somewhat correct though, but from what I believe now Seedlings, after re shooting some scenes and re-editing the film along with the sound is quite an amazing and moving film, something I thought it would be after the sound design was completed as well as the color grading etc. I have been to many focus group screenings when I was in LA and seen bigger films in the worse states before their post work was completed so I knew what I was in for, but they all turned out to be sensational.

    @ Cherish and Oh Dear
    If you and the rest of your readers actually understood the reports correctly and coherently or knew anything about the film-making process, the Kolachi trailer was made as a concept to entice investors and distribution of which is underway from what I believe. You all speak so highly of Shoaib Mansoor whose film-making to the rest of the ‘knowing how’ world is pretty pathetic when it comes to ‘real’ storytelling, but the people who actually are going through the process of making films without selling themselves out by cramming controversy, religion and getting your actors to actually act, are not? Your immature remarks remain unheard to the people who actually know what they’re doing. Just because Shoaib Mansoor doesn’t appear in GT magazine doesn’t mean he is the ‘be all and end all’ of film-making. BTW I see Steve Moore at parties all the time. Period!

    @ Bogus
    Noobs – is that even a word. Seedlings has started its marketing campaign. No one heard a word from it before it was even shot or edited.

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