Official poster of the film "The Dusk"

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Official poster of "The Dusk"

Dawn.com talks to Zeeshan Kazmi who made his directorial debut with the forthcoming film The Dusk, a socio-political drama venture of Wajahat Kazmi Films & Shahzad Nasib.

Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you've been working on it.

It’s a film which talks about human emotions and behaviour of society towards victims of terrorism in the current situation of Pakistan, We’ve been working on the film since September 2010.

How do you think masses of Pakistan will respond to it, given the different aspects you are looking at?

Those who are looking for realistic cinema projects will find it believable and presenting their thought process in current scenario and others who are looking for entertainment inside films will disappoint themselves.

With tons of Bollywood and Hollywood films being released at the same time alongside, what kind of people do you think will come to see the film?

The film does not aim to compete those larger than life Bollywood and action-packed technology-oriented Hollywood movies because of major differences in the production scale and the style of storytelling, The Dusk isn’t a commercial film at all but I think filmgoers will give it a try.

What aspect of the film struck you most when you saw the story for “The Dusk”?

Well, every auteur truly wants to underscore his/her own mindset while making films. When I first read the script I was like “Oh yes this is what I was looking for to make a film on”.

The film follows the current situation and showing the multifaceted nature of the country. How did you go about “casting”/finding these people for the film? What surprised you the most when following their lives?

Finding actors for a film is the most difficult task film makers are facing these days. Talent resources are limited because most of the actors we can cast are from television industry and getting them “in” effects a film in two ways. First, audience watch these TV actors all time on their televisions so the exclusiveness of film gets killed and secondly acting style of film is extremely different from the TV style of acting which overall affects the grandness of film and makes it closer to TV serials.

The other resource is fashion industry but the success ratio of models-turned-actors is quite limited because their focus of being an actor is more about visual appearance instead of characterization aesthetics and emotional facility.

How has the response and experience been towards your film during international film festivals?

The film was supposed to hit festivals late 2012 but the film company which has produced the film wanted it to be in local theatres before screening it anywhere in the world in order to keep the film exclusive to audience, that’s why festival screenings have been postponed.

With a lot of young people coming up, telling stories and having a sense of direction, making films seems like the new “in” thing. How do you think it can be invested upon further to make it a better professional endeavor?

I think this is the right time for film students to jump in because many young film makers have initiated the process and with the energy of young, film literate team members we can invest upon it further.

Do you think the new breed of filmmakers are recreating our long lost cinema or following Bollywood?

To be honest, nobody is recreating our long lost cinema. Some filmmakers are working in Bollywood style to directly get commercial success while few are doing their own stuff according to standard film art.

As you look back on “The Dusk” as a finished product with the film about to be released, how do you feel about it as a product?

I love the film as it is my debut direction but I believe that it could be made better with more research and planning. That’s what comes from experience

What must a film have in order to captivate a mass audience?

Our audience lacks cine-literacy which forcibly makes them like only the production value and star cast of a project. Without being cine-literate one cannot watch and appreciate the film. Our filmgoers will enjoy a shot with extreme distortion of lens more than a subtle moment of emotion. They will enjoy a larger than life visual treatment with Hell drums more than an inner vocal reaction of a character or symbolism. Categorical rejection is also a common trend found in our audience. Practically, captivating a mass audience is not a task of today’s filmmaker for now.

What are the biggest obstacles for aspiring film-makers in Pakistan?

There are hundreds but mainly absence of talent resources, vision-less actors, non-practical approach of film crews and unavailability of proper marketing structure are some of the main hurdles

How can the country invest further in this industry?

With people who have mastered film education, we can build better teams. People should participate in the whole process of film-making as screenwriters, art directors, cinematographers, editors and sound designers instead of searching for the director’s chair only.

I, myself designed posters, directed and edited film, designed sound, worked on lyrics and at times narrated the film through my voice in “The Dusk”.


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Comments (11) (Closed)


ali
May 28, 2012 06:11am
Looking forward to it. Thanks.
Adeel Ahmed
May 28, 2012 06:42am
Best of luck
@naveedjami
May 28, 2012 06:51am
I wish the maker of the movie best of luck, the trailer/preview doesnt not pull me. We are a country already soaked in blood and fumes of our people. Would we want to view another movie on this subject? 9/11 subject haunts us but we had enough movies on ther subject. Although there were gruesome scenes and fake mustaches in the preview, still I look forward to watching it.
roquefort
May 28, 2012 08:20am
Reading news about the state of PU in Lahore where any form of art classes be music etc aren't allowed there is a very little hope for movie industry to develop in Pakistan.I do wish luck to the movie and will watch it.
chakraborty
May 28, 2012 08:22am
Best Of Luck to you Zeeshan. For Pakistani Readers I would like to say that Bollywood is 50% of Indian Cinema. Our Bengali, Marathi and Malayalam Movies are better in content, subject and performance. Indian Parallel cinema has produced greats like : Satyajit Ray (First Indian to win Oscar and is biggest legend of cinema in subcontinent) Mrinal Sen Adoor Gopalakrishnan Ritwik Ghatak Tapan Sinha Shyam Benegal Gautam Ghose to name a few How French and Iranian cinema is different from Hollywood ?? the same way our regional cinema is to Bollywood Cheers
Iyan
May 28, 2012 01:40pm
Sir/Madam, I do not understand what you are writing. I read very recently about many dramas, fashion shows, literary and art festivals that were held in Lahore, Pakistan, and they were very descriptive and good. This completely contradicts what you are writing.
USPakistanis
May 28, 2012 03:55pm
As Mr.Zeeshan says marketing Pakistani films is the biggest problem. For example in America there is a huge Pakistani Ameriican community who are very interested in new independent films in cities like San Francisco, LA, New York, Texas & Florida who should be able to access such films. This will open a huge market the Pakistani Goverment needs to set a department that engages the.US media called Pakistan Public Relations PPR whose sole job is to sell television & film DVDs to giant cable companies like Netflix, Comcast & ATT & DirectvTV this will help generate sales for future projects
Lahori
May 28, 2012 05:46pm
"arent allowed".....ok im confused are we talking about lahore one of the most "modern" cities of pakistan......you have probably never been there or have no idea where it is or what it looks like....
fus
May 28, 2012 08:32pm
I think roquefort is pointing to the gowing power of religious organizations in colleges and Universities, specially PU, where courses related to arts, music and drama are gradually being discouraged.
izay ch
May 30, 2012 12:03am
interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nyc subject ! mindblowing direction! i've just seen trailer n its quite impressive! wishing youh vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv bestttttttttttt ovvvvvvvvv luck MR Z-SHAN! :-):-)
izay ch
May 30, 2012 12:05am
interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nyc subject ! mindblowing direction! i've just seen trailer n its quite impressive! wishing youhhhhhhhhhhhh vvvv bestttttttt ov luckkkkk MR Z-SHAN!!!!!!! :-)