Wajahat Kazmi - The Dusk Fim writer & Producer from Pakistan

Wajahat is a young writer and film producer from Pakistan and he is getting ready with his first film, called "The Dusk". I have never met Wajahat but I know him for the past few years because of his passion for cinema, especially for Bollywood films.

Here are some excerpts from an email interview with Wajahat.

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Sunil: Wajahat tell me about your self, about your family, where you grew up, about the early influences that you had, your education, your experiences in life ...

Wajahat: I am Wajahat Kazmi and I am 26 years old. In 1988 my family migrated to Italy, so I did the last three years of my high school in Italy at the Piero Sraffa science school in the northern city of Brescia, and then I started to work.

Wajahat Kazmi

Right from my childhood, I liked watching Indian films, I love Indian films. I was attracted towards persons involved in showbiz. I used to dream of writing a film or producing a film, but my real dream was to become a film director. I have never dreamed of being an actor and I don't want to act. In my family every body thought that I am young and I dream and it is ok, because all young people dream.

My family used to think that as lot of young guys they have hobbies and passions, that this is something temporary, but when I grow up I will forget about making films. I started going to the cinema school classes in Milan, but at home I told every body that I was going to computer classes. As time passed, my passion for cinema became my objective of life. There is lot of hard work behind making my dream a reality. Without God's support I could not have done it. I am sure that many other persons in my position, would have accepted defeat and preferred to stay in the comfort of home. But I never accepted defeat, and I never listened all the negative things that people said about me, I waited patiently for my time to change. People used to laugh at me. Some of them taunted me by calling me "director" and those taunts made me stronger. I used to tell God that I had faith in him and that all the persons that laugh at my ideas and my passion, I will show them one day even though it may consume all my life. This passion is the love of my life and for love I will do everything.

In May 2009, I came to Pakistan. For one year, I assisted other directors and then I decided that I will make my own film and in 2010, I started planning and organising everything.

Sunil: What roles have you played in Dusk - producer, writer, ...?

Wajahat: My dream is to become a film director but when I came to Pakistan and assisted other directors, I realized that I needed to learn more before becoming a director. I have learned one thing that for making a good story, you need a good team. Making a good film is an art and not every body can do it. Thus I thought that first I will produce a film and only when I have learned more I will think of directing a film. Thus I am writer and producer of "The Dusk".

Sunil: Wajahat, how did you discover that you are a writer?

Wajahat: I like writing very much, but strangely enough, I am not fond of reading. I don't remember ever reading a full book. For my writing, I don't think so much. I get new ideas while I am driving the car. First for a month, I develop the story in my mind. Then I sit down to write it in one go, then slowly over a period of time I convert that story in the script for the film.

All the persons around us, each of them is a story. If I can look at everybody with the right curiosity to understand their stories, then I can write it down on the paper in my words. In The Dusk also, I have tried to throw light on a particular situation in Pakistan.

Sunil: Tell me about "The Dusk". How did the idea come to you, and how did you make your idea become a reality?

Wajahat: "The Dusk" is the story of an ordinary Pakistani. A normal person, who wakes up early morning, goes to work and comes back late in evening. Who eats normal roti-paani. In his house, there is no electricity for 12 out of the 24 hours every day. His salary does not last him for the whole month and who doesn't know how to make the ends meet.

It is a story of today's Pakistan. Since 9/11, there have been 7 thousand 435 bomb explosions in Pakistan and more than 35,000 innocent persons have died in those explosions. What was their crime? Can USA give an answer or can Pakistan government give an answer? Besides, there are so many missing persons, no body knows what happened to them. Who is responsible for all this? USA, Pakistan or ordinary Pakistani people?

The Dusk is a story of a doctor, who is kidnapped 4 days after his marriage. So this film is about the impact of today's situation on the ordinary Pakistanis.

Z. Shan Kazmi and Wajahat Kazmi

The film is directed by my very good friend, who is of my age, who was a good film editor and is debuting with this film as a director, Mr. Z. Shan Kazmi. When I asked him to direct the film, lot of persons said that he is only 25 years old, don't give this role to him. I used to say to them that if at 26 years, I can write and produce a film, why can't he be a director at 25 years? I don't think that artistic capacity depends upon age of a person. (Wajahat with film's director Z. Shan Kazmi in the image on the right)

The hero and heroine of The Dusk are two new models-turned actors, Uzma Khan and Salman Khan. In real life they are husband and wife, so working together with them was great fun. We worked together as a team. Cameraman, director, assistants, producer, we all worked together as a team and it was great fun. The shooting was wrapped up in 28 days. We are all new - actors, director, producer, for all of us it is our first film.

We had started our film with a prayer on our set, and finally our prayer has brought us to completion of our film. People all over Pakistan are loving our trailer and so many of them can't believe that this is our first film. With God's grace, after the post production work in Bangkok, we would like to show this film in different film festivals all over the world, and then release it in India and Pakistan. (below left: Salman Khan, Uzma Khan and Wajahat)

Salman Khan, Uzma Khan and Wajahat Kazmi

Sunil: What else you would like to tell to people about yourself?

Wajahat: My favourite director is Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I am his big fan. His films gave me the dream of becoming a film maker and they have given me the passion for cinema.

In terms of music, I like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and A. R. Rahman. My favourite actresses are Rani Mukherjee, Tabu and Kajol. My favourite film is Zakhm by Mahesh Bhat and I am fan of all the movies of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

We are hoping to have Shabana Azmi ji to come to Pakistan and do a small but very significant cameo in The Dusk, though it is not confirmed yet.

Sunil: Thanks Wajahat for this interview. Wishing you all the best for the success of your film, The Dusk.

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