Renowned cinematographer, Farhan Alam, has donned the director’s cap for his latest venture Saawan. Based on the true story of a disabled child, the film carries the message of humanity and hope.
Saawan stars Imran Aslam, Saleem Miraj, Tipu, Sehrish Qadri, and Syed Karam Hussain in the lead roles. The script and the screenplay has been written by Mashood Qadri - the grand-son of reputed writer Moulana Hamid Badayuni.
It has been produced by Asma Qadri. The editing will be done by renowned Bollywood editor Aseem Sinah. He has done editing for projects like Well done Abba, Zubeida, Khoobsurat, Welcome to Sajjanpur, and Sardari Begum.
The film's director has been associated with Pakistan's entertainment industry for more than 15 years. As a cinematographer, he has worked on several well-known projects including Dastaan, Malaal, Mera Naseeb, Sanjah, and Coke Kahani.
HIP recently spoke to the writer, and also one of the producer's, Mashood Qadri, who gave us a sneak peak into his new venture.
When and how did the idea to make a film come in your mind?
Although I was associated with the showbiz for quite some time, but it was the story of this film which forced me to jump into the thick of things, that is the production.
The story is based on a true tale of a disabled child, who was left alone in one of the deserts in Pakistan.
Could you tell us a bit about the main plot of the film?
Well, the film has drama, suspense, strong unpredictable ending, tragedy, and action; all rolled into one project.
It is about struggle of a disabled child who iss left all alone in the desert. In the initial scenes we have shown him as a shy and frightened child, but later on he overcomes his fears. His biggest strength is his dedicated mother, who always motivates him to be a good human being.
During the struggle, the child comes into contact with a disabled dog, he perceives the dog as counter-transference in order to overcome his own fears.
In this story of a struggling disabled boy you will also meet some interesting characters: an inspiring mother, an enthusiastic passionate TV reporter, a burglar, a child abductor, criminal, ambivalent father, and a cruel landlord. We are sure that this story will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
What's the central message of the film?
The film carries a message of hope and is a lesson for those who ignore disabled children during their daily walk of life and consider them a liability. It will show them how such kids can be turned into a valuable chunk of society.
Tell us a bit about the film's cast?
We have Syed Karam Hussein playing the protagonist. He is the younger brother of Syed Fazal Hussein (child actor of Ramchand Pakistani). Karam has amazing talent and he has performed way above our expectations. I must say, he has inherited all talented genes in sound manner.
Najiba Faiz plays an inspirational mother, whereas Arif Bahalimm plays an ambivalent father in the film. We also have Saleem Miraj, Shahid Nizam (son of Khalid Nizami), Imran Aslam, Tipu Yorguc, and Sehrish Qadri in important roles.
The film's story also required a trained dog. So we got a fully trained dog from the USA.
Is this your first venture as a director, or have you done any work in the past too?
Actually this isn't my first shot at direction. I've dipped my toes in this field before by directing a couple of short films and music videos. This is the first time that I'm directing on such a large scale.
As a director of photography, I have worked very closely with the film directors. I have worked on numerous projects including the feature film Bin Roye and drama serials such as Dastaan, Malaal, Mera Naseeb, Sanjah, and Coke Kahani.
My love of photography and motion picture began at a young age as I meticulously observed my father Shah Alam —a legendary cinematographer and one of the pioneers of television and film in Pakistan — being at work.
My passion for the celluloid led me to pursue my diploma in Film and TV Production at the Los Angeles City College, USA. Later, I began my career by working as an assistant cameraman for Gaffer and Grip.
Earlier, I made a short film Calendar that was well received as an official selection at the New York Film Expo 2010.
Has the film's shoot ended?
Yes, now it's in post-production and we are planning to release it in July 2016. We have shot at different locations including Skardu, Khaplu and Shigar.
How many soundtracks will be there in the film?
None, there aren't any songs in this film, but it will have originally composed background score.