With the revival of Pakistani cinema still on the roll, many new and young directors are making their debut. One among them in Asim Abbasi, a Karachiite living in London for last more than eighteen years. Abbasi is currently working as writer and director on his first big screen project titled Cake. The film star Sanam Saeed, Adnan Malik and Aamina Sheikh in leading roles.
In an exclusive interview with Behtareen.pk, Asim Abbasi talked in detail about his film Cake, why he believed our films should not do brands endorsements, previous projects, and much more.
“There are two couples in the movie. Adnan will obviously make one of them while the other male will be disclosed in the film,” told Abbasi. Giving a little hint about the other actor, the writer told, “He is a big star and has huge following.” Any guesses?
He revealed for the first time that Sanam Saeed and Aamina Sheikh are playing sisters in the movie and according to him, “One of them has lived her life the way she could have while the other has sacrificed much.” We think we can guess this with more confidence, no?
Asim informed that 90% of the movie has already been shot in Pakistan while the cast and crew will be flying to London to shoot the rest at the end of this month. “We have shot in Karachi and interior Sindh,” he told. “It was great experience in term of actors and performances. I was very very pleased with that,” he added.
When asked why should audience look forward to his film Cake, Abbasi told that his film has many suspense elements in it. “It has drama but drama not done in traditional way,” he told. “The film is about passage of time and there are old secret,” he added.
“For me, it is much better, wiser thing to make a smaller budget film than make a massive film with lots of brands in it,” Asim Abbasi, the writer and director of Cake.
“It’s a current modern day drama with elements of suspense and thriller,” Abbasi further revealed. “There is this mystery within the family that needs to be resolved,” he added.
For the first time, the director also revealed a few supporting cast of his film, which included Muhammad Ahmed, Hira Hussain, Faris Khalid and others.
Talking about the music of his film, he informed that Saif Samejo of Sketches band is doing all the songs and background music. Upon asking why he picked Samejo, the director told, “Firstly, I love his music and secondly, a big part of the film is shot in interior Sindh and his music has richness in it.”
When asked if he would be interested in doing TV in future, Abbasi told that he did not want to do it. “I do not see myself ever doing TV,” he told. “For me, it’s completely different medium, making something for 24 episodes is not just my thing,” he added.
Further on this, he clarified that he only meant this about local TV, specifically Pakistani TV. “If someone ask me to do something for 13 episodes, where I have enough time to rehearse with me cast, I will do it.” he clarified. “I am an actor’s director and I need a lot of time with my actors to rehearse,” he added.
In past two to three years, many filmmakers failed miserably and then took the shield of ‘revival of Pakistani cinema’ to hide their sins. We asked Abbasi what was his take on it “You are talking about ten years of revival of Pakistani cinema but before that, the cinema going culture was destroyed for twenty years,” he complaint. “It does not take five to ten years to build that,” he added.
Talking further on the question, he told “We do not have a star system. We do not have cinema going culture. We have survived on pirated Bollywood films. For us, entertainment and cinema is immediately associated with Bollywood and when we banned Bollywood, people stopped coming to cinemas.”
The director also talked about previous projects and told that he had made five shorts movies. “The latest one, Little Red Roses was premiered in New York City Film Festival and also screened at Jaipur Film Festival in January this year. The other film Whore won best film in Italy and screened in a lot of festivals,” he told.
Coming back to his debut movie Cake, Abbasi told “I am not among the people who claim that their movie will be a game changer but I know that visually and performance wise, it will stand out. It is something that everyone will find something to relate to.”
We asked him about the budget and brand endorsements in the film. The director told that he was strictly against brand endorsement in his movies. “I did not use any powerhouse to make the film. That was a deliberate choice. I did not want any brand in my film,” he told. “I may do other collaborations with them in terms of promotion licensing, but in actual content of the film there won’t be any brand endorsement,” he added.