KARACHI: Farouq Mengal’s Hijrat has had a bit of a topsy-turvy life cycle. From lengthy pre and post-production phases to rumours of rifts within the crew, the film has seen it all. However, it is now finally ready to be released on to the silver screen.
Initially expected to open in January earlier this year, Hijrat will now be releasing on April 22, confirmed Hum Films President Badar Ikram. Although unwilling to pinpoint a particular reason for the film’s delay, Ikram explained that the postponement was a result of a multitude of factors, ranging from post-production to finding a suitable window. “Right now, there is the small issue of the World T20 taking place. Following its completion, Maalik releases on April 8, which will be succeeded by Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan on April 15,” he said. “After that, Hijrat will hit cinemas,” Ikram told The Express Tribune.
Ikram added that, unlike its contemporaries, Hijrat has been shot on film rather than digital, which lengthened the post-production process further. “Unfortunately, there aren’t any digital conversion labs in Pakistan. We had to take the negatives to Bangkok, Thailand, to have them converted,” he explained.
The romantic drama — which has been shot on multiple locations such as Quetta and Turkey — will feature an ensemble cast with a mix of seasoned and new actors. Asad Zaman, Rabia Butt, Nadeem Baig, Salma Agha and Ayub Khosa are all part of the project. Hijrat will also mark the feature film directorial debut for Mengal. In an earlier conversation, the film-maker spoke about his decision to cast new actors, Butt and Zaman, in the lead role. “I have always worked with new people, even in my television serials. The best part about working with newcomers is that I can mould them into my own style,” he explained. “So, if they are praised, we share the credit but if they are criticised, I take the blame up front.”
The soundtrack for the film has been composed by Sahir Ali Bagga.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2016.