Shamoon Abbasi’s Durj has been in the news ever since its trailer released leaving the audience's craving for more. Durj is based on true events of cannibalism that took place in Pakistan. The highly anticipated film became a member of Societe Des Realisateurs De Films (The Society of Film Directors). Recently Shamoon took to social media and announced the international release of the film.
Obviously, many questions were raised about the film being showcased first to the overseas audiences, and here’s what Shamoon had to say about the entire matter.
When asked about the strategy of first releasing the Durj globally, Shamoon told HIP: We were surprised to see the humongous response to the trailer by foreigners and Pakistani's all across the globe. They appreciated the real and unique content of the film. Many You tubers reviewed and applauded the trailer that included a huge section of audiences from India and Pakistan abroad, therefore we thought of first releasing Durj at the global platform. Besides, the international distributors welcomed us and evaluated the film keeping in view the international attraction and immediately signed us; as of now, the film is already on half the globe. I believe this should be a learning lesson for distributors in Pakistan who at first said ‘you can't make it’ later they said ‘no one will release it’ and now they say ‘why not Pakistan’.
About the question on having differences with the film distributors in Pakistan, he said: We don't have anything against film distributors except for the fact; there exists a specific lobby that preferred Indian content over Pakistani films. Bollywood films are now history, therefore they only choose films that sell i.e. rom-coms offering masala and item songs and not willing to support any other genre. This phenomenon leaves filmmakers in a limbo, restricting their creative liberties. To be honest, Durj became a challenge for them; on the contrary, my audience in Pakistan is waiting anxiously to watch the film. The positive reviews and reactions say it all; I don't know what else is required to push a film after such a response?
As a filmmaker, he believes: The old norms and theories are still being practiced in the business in the form of forced entertainment. Cinema is the best form of recreation but unfortunately, the audience is bound to spend their hard earned money on such stereotype and formula films, even if the like it or not they don't have a choice. It's high time that we should welcome new filmmakers with new ideas; we can't afford to fool our audience anymore.
Speaking about his decision may turn out to be a big risk, he added: Durj was already a risk when we started making it, but why playing it safe? If the security - success of a film is to have tons of advertisements and sponsors by your side then yes we don't have any. We are proud that Durj made it internationally without the dictation of any channel, advertising agencies, and expensive social media marketing campaigns. Durj is real and organic hence making its own way to the world on sheer merit. It will set a benchmark by proving all myths wrong and fortify aspiring filmmakers to follow their vision, work hard, and believe in their product; the world is waiting to watch good quality Pakistani content.
Shamoon concluded the chat on a happier note and said: Pakistan will definitely watch Durj, but in a different manner. Money is not the challenge here; it's about reaching the audiences. I will reveal my plans at the right time and from now onwards everything related to Durj will be a surprise.