Azaad: till fear grips your heart!

Published: December 5, 2013
Hassam Khan has looked into a number of criminal cases to accurately portray his role of a serial killer. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Hassam Khan has looked into a number of criminal cases to accurately portray his role of a serial killer. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY


For 23-year-old Hassam Khan, the realm of film is neither a hobby nor a passion, but is a lifestyle he’s always wanted to live, he confesses.

Khan has thus far performed in a couple of stage plays, such as Pawnay 14 August, where he played the lead role of Quaid e Azam, and Come Again!, where he played the character of Daddy Don.

For his latest project, Azaad Khan has donned not only the hat of actor, but also that of script writer and director.

“The initiative was to make a revival [of cinema]. However, while we were in the process of making this film, we did not know there were others making films like Zinda Bhaag!” He says.

Hassam Khan’s film Azaad is a psychological thriller which might, as he says, “Give the audience goose-bumps and emotional overtures.” He insists that his work is a largely researched-based script, and that he has even talked to police offers who handled the Javed Iqbal Mughal case. Mughal, as many may remember, was a Pakistani serial killer, who was found guilty of the sexual abuse and murder of 100 children. He committed suicide in October 2001.

Khan has also studied the case of Ed Gein in depth, who was a murderer who exhumed corpses from local graveyards, and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Khan asserts that, “The film is not all about the criminals, I wanted to grip on the roots [of crime], rather than the criminals themselves. I believe debuts like this work for a debut film-maker like myself.”

Khan gives The Express Tribune the story-line of his film Azaad, saying that the plot revolves around the case of serial killer Talha Zulfiqar, who has killed nine people.

The cast includes Hassam Khan, Hammad Siddiqui, Natasha Baig, Maddi Murtaza and Shahmeen Khan. Basir Ahmed, one of the youngest score artistes of Pakistan, is composing the music for the film. The soundtrack of the film includes three songs, including one title track.

Khan says the film was shot in Karachi and is based in the city as well. Shooting started in January 2013 and went on for the better part of the entire year. Currently, the film is in the phase of post-production, and clocks in at two hours long.

This Urdu scripted work, Khan says, is, “not fully scary. You have to be immersed in the film so as to understand it.”

Khan, who is currently doing his Bachelors from IVS in Communication Design, says that, “films have really changed my life. Like every average school-going kid in second grade, I wanted to be an actor.”

“I really wanted to adopt this lifestyle. Visual story-telling in Pakistan is the need of the hour. People need entertainment. I will pursue this neither as a passion nor as a hobby, but as a lifestyle. I am in love with this.”

Without giving an exact release date, he cites that by middle of next year, June, they will be able to release the movie in Pakistan, and also hints on the possibility of an international release, if all goes well.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • suresh
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:21PM

    this film is from pakistan. who will watch such sub-standard films?? LOL


  • mukesh
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:02PM

    How pathetic.
    We have utterly turned into a troll nation.


  • Aamir
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:08PM

    @suresh: Who has asked you to come and give your opinion here? These films which you consider to be ‘sub-standard’ are good enough for Pakistani viewers here. You go watch Bollywood, noone is stopping you.


  • Zog
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:29PM


    Our young talent is amazing and making unique films.

    People watch Pakistani films for their engaging scripts.

    We are very excited about our new generation of film makers.

    Perhaps these kids will the the ones “LOL” at comments like yours.


  • PaKiyonkiMaKaa
    Dec 5, 2013 - 11:02PM

    Awesome Movie man….I think its going to break record Waar or Maula Jatt…


  • saud
    Dec 5, 2013 - 11:54PM

    Its a matter of perspective, Suresh. No disregard meant but I don’t like movies that have party dancing and everyone in the scene just starts dancing in a colorful set in a movie which is half comedy, half thriller copied from some Hollywood movie plot. That pretty much covers almost 90% of the high-budget Indian movies. Pakistan film industry is now building up and after the movie WAAR , everybody is looking forward to see more.


  • Moiz Omar
    Dec 5, 2013 - 11:55PM

    Pakistan has produced many great films. Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, Pakistan’s movie industry outperformed India’s. And while our standards may have gone down since then, we still produce some good films. Examples include Khuda Ke Liye and Bol.


  • antanu
    Dec 6, 2013 - 9:22AM

    prior to passing judgement….see movies like BOL…WAAR…etc.Is it a must that everything Pakistani is BAD. ..Come on bro…be a realist.Living in a media created myth is not good for health.


  • HRK
    Dec 6, 2013 - 9:41AM

    Javed Iqbal is a name I can never forget. I was in a boarding school in 8th grade when the news about his 100 murders was revealed with the pictures and hometowns of the kids, which sent chills down our spines. One of my peers even recognized a victim kid from his hometown and told that the kid used to just wander around the streets and probably had some mental disorder. Later in life serial killers became my favorite genre with Zodiac, Se7en and I saw the devil as my most favorite ones. I always used to think that if I’d ever get a chance to make a movie on such genre I’d pick Javed Iqbal’s case as the one. I think it’s a great move in Pakistani cinema to make a thriller and I appreciate Hassam Khan’s efforts in this movie. All the best!


  • Amir
    Dec 6, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Indians will never change and everytime they remind us why pakistan was created.


  • True Karachiwala
    Dec 6, 2013 - 12:31PM

    Sounds great and totally different as far as Pakistan film industry is concerned. Wishes for your success. Hope guys like you will turn Karachi into film headquarter as TV drama inustry now tells its Karachi address.


  • KaranfromIndia
    Dec 6, 2013 - 1:51PM

    @Suresh – Grow up and till then stop making us feel ashamed with your stupid views.


  • paki boy
    Dec 6, 2013 - 2:50PM

    i hope the film will be better than the telegu nd tamil films if not like bollywood.


  • islooboy
    Dec 6, 2013 - 3:43PM

    @paki boy:
    who cares about them in Pakistan


  • Stranger
    Dec 6, 2013 - 4:40PM

    Hmmm sounds interesting. Hope I manage to catch it on dvds .


  • Sitwat Ahmed
    Dec 6, 2013 - 11:58PM

    As long as as the story line is entertaining and keeps me interested enough to wait till the next scene I am willing to watch & would love to see this film! Good luck to this young storyteller and visionary! Hope you keep on dreaming, believing, and creating!


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