KARACHI: Things are looking up for Pakistani cinema this year. After two films having already made their way to the Cannes Film Festival, it seems the Imran Abbas-starrer Abdullah is next in line to bag the accolade. According to Imran’s official Facebook page, the film has been selected for the 68th Cannes Film Festival, scheduled to be held from May 15 to May 21.
“My film Abdullah, directed by Hashim Nadeem and starring Hameed Sheikh, Sajid Hasan, Sadia Khan and me, will be screened at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in France,” read Imran’s post. “Honoured to attend the screening at the event on May 15 at 8:00pm in Olympia 3 in Cannes, France,” it further said.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Imran said he is currently waiting for his visa and if it arrives in time, he will fly out for Cannes. “It’s one of the biggest film festivals and I’ll also get the opportunity to represent my nation,” he said.
The story of Abdullah revolves around the tragic Quetta incidents of 2011 in which five Russian citizens, alleged suicide bombers, were killed at a checkpost of frontier corps. Of his role in the film, Imran shared, “The character is completely different from the ones I have previously performed. I play the role of a truck driver, who is Abdullah’s (Hameed Sheikh) son.” He added, “In order to add an element of love and more colour to the film, the story explores the relationship between Sadia and my characters.”
Having shot the film in Quetta, Imran said the experience was entirely new for him. “It was the first time that I went to the place and we were given a lot of security. We would interact very little with the people as we would film our scenes and then go back to the hotel we were staying at,” he shared.”
If this holds true, Abdullah will be the third Pakistani film to be screened at Cannes after Saffan Qadir’s Holiday in December and Rayika Choudhri’s Baat Cheet. A search for the film Abdullah on the official website of the Cannes Film Festival did not yield any result. The website does, however, feature Baat Cheet and Holiday in December.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2015.
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