The director broke into the mainstream media through his music videos for prominent acts such as Atif Aslam, Overload, Mekaal Hasan Band, Entity Paradigm etc. They carry his signature inclination towards fantastical storytelling with a prominent dramatic flair prompting him to become the director-of-choice for those in the industry. His last body of work, Entity Paradigm’s Shor Macha, was shot in over five locations all over Pakistan and had an accompanying documentary on the making of the ‘epic’ video itself.

At the moment, however, Bilal Lashari is engrossed in shooting, in the hills of Islamabad, his full-length feature film called Waar (to strike). “We’re in production right now and we’ve shot about 25 per cent of the film,” says Bilal. The storyline has been inspired by terrorist attacks in Pakistan. “But with a very stylised interpretation of it,” he adds.

Why Islamabad? “The entire production is based in Islamabad, the producer (Hassan Waqas Rana) is based here and he calls the shots. Most of the scenes and script are based around locations in Islamabad… maybe just a few scenes are based in Lahore and Istanbul.” He adds that Hassan has several film projects up his sleeves and has “big plans of restarting the film scene in Pakistan.” The production company for Waar is Mindworks Media.

Lashari has also managed to get iconic actor, Shaan, on board and describes working with the actor as “the best experience yet. He was just so professional. And because he knows what you are talking about, it’s easy to communicate with him.”

“A director knows what he wants from an actor, Shaan gives you that and more. Things you wouldn’t expect that lie in the subtleties of his work,” enthused Bilal adding that, “I was very excited about working with him. In fact I changed my facebook status the same day I was supposed to work with him. I wasn’t intimidated because I’ve known him from before. He’s also a sellable artist.”

“Besides Shaan, there is Shamoon Abbasi in the film, otherwise the rest of the cast are brand new actors,” added Bilal, “we’re also working with a newer crew.” He also mentions that film doesn’t carry any ‘song and dance’ sequences. So far, we can expect Waar to have a summer release.

Does he have plans of working on any more music videos? “I’m putting them on hold for now. I love music videos and I don’t think I am ever going to quit that. The budgets have gone down and the returns are not as rewarding as the work that is put in.” One has also heard he takes a long, long time to work on a video, what does he have to say about that? “If you give a great budget I’ll do it in half the time!” laughs Lashari.

Most Popular

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

Opinion

A decade of change & stagnation
Updated 20 Sep 2021

A decade of change & stagnation

Over a decade, three more women out of 100 aged between 19 and 39 have acquired college degrees, compared to only two more men.
All about life
Updated 20 Sep 2021

All about life

There is no shortage of issues on which the Single National Curriculum has stirred controversy.
‘Honourable men’
20 Sep 2021

‘Honourable men’

Is it ambition to support our athletes only after they bring us glory?
Concerns of proxy wars
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Concerns of proxy wars

A lobby in the US favours a plan for proxy warfare so that America can sustain its global influence.

Editorial

20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...
Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...