LAHORE: The ongoing India-Pakistan hostility may see an end at some point but it has surely deprived artists from across the border of working in what would be the directorial debut of film star Meera.
While announcing the formation of Meera Films and Media House only a few months ago, the Pakistani diva said she had decided to turn into a film-maker and put out at least 10 films under the company’s banner, Oscar being the first. Now that her film Hotal is already out, she has fully immersed herself in preparing to begin shooting for Oscar.
For the upcoming bilingual film, she has already purchased an expensive camera from the US and is also taking tuitions to brush up her English. While Meera’s brother Ahsan, and actor Noor Bukhari are already on board, Meera was busy looking for actors in India who could be a part of Oscar. However, the cross-border tensions have changed all of that. These days, her father Sarwar Shah is visiting Lahore’s universities, auditioning aspiring performers who want to be a part of the mega-budget project. “This is a very important time to strengthen our film industry and I do have these things on my mind,” Meera told The Express Tribune. “I never worried about what others are doing or saying. All I know is that Pakistani audiences want to see my films.” Meera said she is in the process of flying in film experts from Dubai to work on Oscar. “I am also playing a lead role in the film,” she said, without divulging too many details.
Meanwhile, Shah has also opened an office in the Gulberg area of the city where work is under way, day and night. “It was our effort that made cross-border co-productions possible. Now when they have decided not to cast our actors, we too will make films using local talent and show them that we can make better movies,” he said.
Hotal director Khalid Hassan Khan has penned the screenplay of Oscar, which will be shot in Pakistan and Germany and released next year. For the Pakistani spell, a set has been established in a farm house at Bedian Road.
It is pertinent to mention that Meera Films and Media House was established because the starlet was unhappy with the quality of Pakistani films and not getting good acting offers. Shah admitted that Meera was recently in India looking for actors but the political scenario has forced them to change plans. “We were already negotiating with some stars there and also speaking to Mahesh Bhatt to co-direct Oscar,” he added.
Shah said cameras will roll after Muharram. “The film revolves around the struggle of a girl who steps into the film industry and faces a lot of problems before her film manages to win an Academy Award.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2016.
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