Pakistani superstar Ali Zafar, who time and again has expressed his desire to produce a feature film, finally announced his dream project on his birthday, May 18. The actor is all set to produce and act in the feature film titled Deosai.The action drama will be set in the northern areas of Pakistan, and will be shot on real locations. Scheduled to go on the floors by the end of summer 2015, it is listed for a worldwide theatre release by mid-2016.
In a conversation with The Express Tribune, the musician-turned-actor spoke of his decision behind shooting for the movie in some of the most scenic locations of Pakistan including Deosai. “In my opinion the location is as important as the story. It is like a building block in the film and actually helps take the narrative of the movie forward.”
Ali added, “I wanted to have my first movie shot in Deosai and the places around it was because I wanted to showcase the beautiful side of Pakistan, one that has not been shown on film previously.”
Renowned visual storyteller Imran Babar has signed onto the project as a director. Having already worked as a filmmaker in northern areas, he fell in love with the idea ever since Ali shared the story with him.“It’s an extremely powerful story and I am excited and honoured to be a part of this project,” remarked Babar.
While speaking about the film, Ali said, “Being an artist who likes to discover the intricacies of various art forms, venturing out into creating a feature film is a thrilling beginning.”
Revealing some vital information about the film he said that two of the central characters in the movie are females and an international artiste has already been cast for one of the parts but the details cannot be revealed at the moment. Ali is currently on the search for a female lead in the movie who he thinks has to be a great actor to justify the multiple layers of her character.
Deosai is Ali’s way of playing a part in the revival of the Pakistani film industry and he wants to do it by making films that are not just avant-garde in their aesthetics but also meaningful.
“I want to make films that can make a difference and are remembered for a long time for their content, besides being successful commercial ventures,” he says. “I waited for that right intuition and idea for my first film as an actor/producer and I am extremely happy with the way it has shaped up.”
Sharing his excitement about shooting at some of the country’s most beautiful locations he said, “I just can’t wait to visit and shoot in all those breath-taking locations in the north, especially the second highest plateau in the world, Deosai, which is known as the land of the giants, after which we have named the title.”
Regarding the soundtrack of the movie Ali Zafar told that, “The movie will not have an item song, not because I am against it but because it is not that kind of a movie. It is a very meaningful film and I want the soundtrack to be very organic, one that complements the narrative of the film.”
The actor who very recently turned down the opportunity to star in three major Bollywood productions stated that he wanted to fully devote himself to this project since it was his own production.
“We would be staging extensive workshops for the movie and bringing in international acting coaches as well. Also I would be undergoing training by action and stunt directors,” shared Ali.
Clarifying the rumours surrounding the news that he had signed on to a Bollywood road film opposite actor Huma Qureshi he replied, “I cannot comment on this right now as I’m currently in talks. But yes I have been offered this film and another.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2015.