Whether it is the actor’s successful stint in Bollywood, his constant visibility on Lahore’s social circuit or his recognition as ‘the most stylish import’ in India, Ali Zafar is a force to be reckoned with. The talented actor, who had expressed a desire to produce a film in several interviews, finally announced his dream project on his birthday yesterday.
The action drama titled Deosai will be set in the glorious northern areas of Pakistan, and is expected to be shot on-location. The film is set to go on floors by the end of summer 2015 and is scheduled for a release in theatres internationally by the mid of 2016. Imran Babur, who has remained a respected name in the Pakistani film industry, will be directing the film.
“Having worked intensely in the northern areas, I fell in love with the idea and story that Ali shared with me,” says Imran. “It’s an extremely powerful story and I am excited and honoured to be a part of this project.“
Talking about the film Ali said, “Being an artist who likes to discover the intricacies of various art forms, and experience his relationship with them, venturing out into creating a feature film is a most-thrilling beginning.”
While speaking exclusively to Instep about the film, he added, “It’s a film driven by women, with the central protagonist being a woman, as well as the second lead who is an international actress we cannot reveal at the moment.” The star himself will be in the middle of the narrative.
When asked who the protagonists could be, Ali remained evasive, saying, “Our options are open, it maybe a Bollywood actress or someone from our local talent.” The film is currently on a global hunt to cast its main female lead.
The project, which is named after the Deosai Plains in the north of the country, seems to have had a large influence on the actor’s decision to film on location in the mountainous regions of Pakistan. “I love the mountains and can’t wait to visit and shoot in all those breathtaking locations in the north especially the second highest plateau in the world ‘Deosai’ known as the Land of the Giants, after which we have named the title.”
Ali celebrates his birthday with wife Ayesha Fazli and close friends: Zara Shahjahan, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, Saad Qureshi, Ammara Hikmat and Resham.
The actor also claims that he wants to be a part of the revival of the Pakistani film industry and make films that make a difference. “I have wanted to play my part in the revival of our local cinema industry and make films that are not just avant-garde in their narrative and aesthetics but also mean something. Films that can make a difference and are remembered for a long time for their content besides aiming to be successful commercial ventures, which is why I waited for that right intuition and idea for my first film as an actor/producer and I am extremely happy with the way it has shaped up.”
While this film is on schedule to start its shooting soon, the project promises to be interesting for the audiences as well. “I am most excited and feel lucky to have found a great director and team who have the talent and experience to translate this dream into an inspiring reality,“ Ali says.
“The idea is to take Pakistan international with this venture. I had to let go of Bollywood projects for this. It will be shot in Deosai, which is the second highest plain in the world, and is going to be challenging and I love challenges.”
Till the film is completed, one can enjoy the multifaceted singer/actor’s performance at the upcoming T20 Pakistan VS Zimbabwe match in Lahore. Ali has confirmed his appearance at the inaugural event, where he will be heard singing his recent single ‘Urainge’ among other super hits like ‘Channo’ and ‘Masti’. One may also expect the actor in an upcoming Bollywood film opposite Huma Qureshi, which the actor has neither confirmed nor denied commitment to.