The present conflict between Pakistan and India is quite grim and the narrative circumnavigating a possible war between the two nuclear armed countries does not seem to be dying down, leaving the common man in a state of anxious terror. However, most of us agree that war isn’t a solution and will only lead to unimaginable destruction. Those supporting the idea of war do not realize its dire consequences; more than the victory (or loss), it is about the men, women and children who are left behind when their loved ones lose their lives in the line of duty.
Taking up the subject, renowned playwright Umera Ahmed has penned a script that is inspired by true events and heart-wrenching stories by the loved ones left behind in similar circumstances.
Written in the backdrop of Kashmir and Pulwama attacks, the narrative includes everything families and kids of martyred army officers and jawaans go through on both sides of the border.
Titled Dhoop Ki Deewar, the upcoming project is directed and produced by Haseeb Hassan. One of the leading directors in the industry, he has popular drama serials Nanhi, Mann Mayal as well as feature film Parwaaz Hai Junoon to his credit. He also directed patriotic telefilm Laal that aired on Pakistan Day while he is gearing up for his next TV project, Alif that will air next month.
Coming back to Dhoop Ki Deewar, the series follows the story of two teenagers whose lives change forever overnight.
“Dhoop Ki Deewar is not a love story: it is a love-hate story based on the love-hate relationship between people of India and Pakistan. That's the only way WE can write and read a love story between these two people,” the playwright shared with Instep, adding, “That's what almost 70 years of unending hatred does to people and their sensibilities. And the most difficult thing for a writer in the subcontinent is to write an Indo-Pak love story.”
In an exclusive conversation with Instep, Haseeb Hassan revealed that Dhoop Ki Deewar features Ahad Raza Mir and Sajal Aly in lead roles, while it has an all-star cast including Samiya Mumtaz, Samina Ahmed, Savera Nadeem and Manzar Sehbai. It will release online on various international platforms that might include Netflix too, he informed, adding that the project is shot in line with the requirements of foreign streaming sites – from camera to sound design to other technical aspects.
Given that Dhoop Ki Deewar is based on issues surrounding India and Pakistan and will cater to audiences outside Pakistan as well, one asked whether the cast was also a combination of artists from both sides of the border. “Initially we thought to have Indian actors on board too but considering the present scenario in India, we dropped the idea,” he responded.
However, he revealed that Indian characters in the project, such as the role of Ahad’s mother and grandmother, are played by Samiya Mumtaz and Zaib Rehman, respectively. On the other hand, Manzar Sehbai and Samina Ahmed will be seen as Sajal’s grandparents while Savera Nadeem will essay the role of her mother.
Other actors who play important roles in the project include Adnan Jaffer, Zara Tareen, Paras Masroor, Hammad Siddiqui, Ainy Zaidi, Salma Hasan, Lubna Aslam and Raza Talishof Suno Chanda 2 fame; Raza will be seen as a Pakistani captain.
More than half of the project has been shot and it is expected to launch in the coming months. Based in Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Kashmir, the series is being produced by Hassan’s production banner, Hamdan Films in partnership with Motion Content Group Pakistan, with support from the ISPR.
The two banners have earlier collaborated for Laalthat was also written by Umera Ahmed and directedby Haseeb Hasan. Besides, Motion Content Group has also been working on a few international webseries that will be released on leading platforms.
Ateeq Siyal, who happens to be Executive Producer of Dhoop Ki Deewar, shared his vision and trust in creative potential Pakistan holds and, therefore, he is hopeful that we will soon be making our mark on international platforms if we invest our efforts and resources in right people and direction.