Today, our Pakistani film industry is going through metamorphosis. As many new talented film makers has came farward with innovative ideas and stories so that the Pakistani cinemas could be more alive. Movies like Khuda k liye, Bol, The Reluctant fundamentalist, Swarangi and many more earned much success on silver screen. In this vein, one more movie ‘Zinda Bhaag’ is all set to release on 20 September which is going to be super hit. The movie reflects the aspiration of Independent film makers from Pakistan. This promising movie has made its mark at international level with its premiere in Toronto.Written and directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi and produced by Mazhar Zaidi , starring Amna Ilyas, Khurram Patras, Salman Ahmad Khan, Zohaib and Naseerudin Shah, this Urdu-Punjabi film is shot in Lahore and is reflective of the everyday life of young Lahoris who dream to hit it big abroad. Zinda Bhaag revolves around the lives of three friends and aims to shed light on the issue of illegal immigration and the intense drama associated with it through their stories. The film’s music is primarily local Lahori pop. Music director Sahir Ali Bagga has given deep thought to the compositions and has asked renowned singers such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Arif Lohar, to lend their voices to the melodies. Apart from Rahat, the film’s music also features voices such as Abrarul Haq, Arif Lohar and Saleema Jawwad. Lohar and Jawwad have sung a song on love and death while Bagga has contributed his vocals to two tracks, an upbeat dance-bhangra number and a romantic ballad. Famed novelist Mohammed Hanif has also written a song, which is satirical and aimed at the hypocrisy of the elite class. It’s been sung by Jabar Ali. Gaur and Nabi have also co-written a duet which is sung by Iqra Ali and Amanat Ali. The song is filmed as a dialogue between a girl and boy in a classic-film style. It will not be a wrong saying that with all the right ingredients that used to make this movie is going leave its mark on the audience. In this regard Ebuzztoday talked to the people who are behind this movie, Farjad anf Meenu, the directors of the film. Have a look on it:
What inspired to make Zinda Bhaag movie? How did you come up with this idea?
MEENU: The inspiration of this film is in the wisdom given by one of the characters of the Zinda Bhaag ‘Puhlwan’, the role played by Naseeruddin Shah- Qismet se Zyada nahi, waqt se pehle nahi’.
FARJAD: We had heard some stories of our friends who had crossed borders illegally in search of a better future abroad. These stories inspired us to write Zinda Bhaag.
How was the working experience with all the crew of Zinda Bhaag?
FARJAD: The crew was young, fresh and driven by passion.
MEENU: Our crew was more like a large family and the making of Zinda Bhaag more of party.
Tell us briefly about the story of the movie?
FARJAD& MEENU: The story of Zinda Bhaag is about three boys living in a mohalla of Lahore who want overnight success and are ready to go to great lengths to achieve that.
What does Farjad Nabi and Meenu Gaur seek to represent/ offer with their work?
MEENU: We wanted to tell a story that people could relate to and claim as their own
FARJAD: A story that has relevance and is entertaining.
Tell us about the casting, how did you choose the people that you wanted to include in your project?
MEENU: Most of the actors of Zinda Bhaag are ‘first-timers’. We didn’t want to cast known actors because we wanted the audiences to experience the film in the same way as we had first heard the stories- the story of a cousin or a friend. We felt that if we cast young men from the same kind of mohallahs that we have tried to depict in the film, the entire film would be a far more intimate experience for the audience.
FARJAD: We had a certain ‘feel’ of the mohallah culture in our minds and somehow whenever we made an ‘actor’ audition for the role, it just didn’t sit right. So we went into the mohallahs, auditioned more than 400 boys and got most of our cast from there.
What should we expect from Zinda Bhaag?
FARJAD: Come to the cinemas on 20th Sept and you will not be disappointed. Zinda Bhaag is a film with great music, entertainment and a fresh story with fresh talent.
A lot of new breeds are coming forward with new ideas and projects for the revival of Lollywood cinemas, do you think this will work out and people will start taking interest in Pakistani movies and what future investment should be done in this regard?
MEENU: 2013 a bumper crop year for Lollywood and Pakistani film industry. Things will get better from here. However there is a severe lack of support and infrastructure for the film industry. Some institutional support like film funding, film festivals, post-production facilities would go a long way.
Has filmmaking in Pakistan become feasible as a career or is there too little work out there to make a steady income from?
FARJAD: It’s the right time to enter films but it’s not going to be an easy ride.
MEENU: There is a huge demand for professionals. If young people want to specialise in a field, they will find work in the future. However earning a steady income is still some way to go.
What challenges you had to face while making Zinda Bhaag?
FARJAD: Every film has its own set of challenges. However we were very lucky to have so many cooperative people around us.
MEENU: The dedication of our crew has been inspirational. All of us pulled together as a single unit and there was this energy driving everyone. It was quite magical.
What’s next in the store of Farjad Nabi & Meenu Gaur