Karachi Kahaani from Ghar Cinema is a glimpse into urban stories
KARACHI: A melting pot of most of Karachi’s ethnicities, Karachi is vibrant, diverse and full of history. It is perhaps the only city in Pakistan that includes the many ethnicities and social groups it is home to. A diverse set of groups comes with an abundance of tales, stories of struggle sometimes living in what we would like to call a “pressure cooker”. Cinema Ghar builds on these stories and aims to help its audiences experience another person’s reality with their upcoming series, Karachi kahaani.
For this project, Cinema Ghar will release one episode every week, for the next four weeks. While the teaser doesn’t give much, other than the fact that it explores interpersonal relationships, rural-to-urban adjustment, themes of independence, and the mother-daughter bond, we have the director of the series, Seraj Us Salikin, to give us a better idea of what he has put together.
“Manufacturing Karachi kahaani has been a phenomenal experience for Cinema Ghar, ”said Salikin, reflecting on his experience. “From the writing process to working with the performers and coming together to create has always been special to me. When you know everyone is giving their hundred percent, it uplifts the film and does justice to the director’s vision. We achieved what we envisioned, got closer and I think that’s something the creators are excited about. “
Getting a movie from paper to screen is undoubtedly an incredible feat. There is always room for human error and limited resources, especially in a place like Pakistan which can slow down or somehow alter the final execution, maybe even s ‘deviate slightly from what was initially envisaged. However, succeeding in achieving something close to what was intended is something that absolutely must be commended.
About his actors, Seraj Us Salikin explains how working with actors who know their stuff can make the job easier. While some actors are more familiar than others, such as Faizan Sheikh and Hina Rizvi, the film employs actors from digital media as well as from theatrical scenes. The list includes Mizna Waqas, Erum Bashir, Kanwal Khan, Raheel Siddiqui, Samhan Ghazi, Mujtaba Rizvi, Dania Enwer, Abul Hassan and Fajr Sheikh.
“Having trained actors makes it easier to work on set, especially when you’re against the clock on a budget and trained actors are helpful. I think we had a good mix of actors from all walks of life, some maybe more famous because of their presence on TV. It was a great learning experience for me to work with such brilliant actors and they all made this project so special to me.
About the genre of the film, explains Seraj, “… it’s a drama. A slice of life drama that the masses would identify with. Some movies get a little more serious as they progress, while others have that comedic tone. You will find something different in these films; something you can’t watch on TV or in our local digital space.
It is imperative that webseries and short films explore their choices. As TV channels have their own niche audiences, options tend to be limited with the TRPs involved. Thus, web series are a freer way to explore what has not been exploited.
The director also sees the pandemic as neutral. While he admits that the last few days have been a “rough patch” for most filmmakers, he also sees the lockdown as a necessary evil in his case, for helping him focus on pre-production on his. upcoming project. “The process of writing and rewriting requires a lot of focus and commitment. So I guess the blockages helped me get through the writing phase, ”he admitted.
As his own project has a strong focus on realism, it is not surprising that Salikin chooses realism as a form of expression in cinema. “Although it’s very subjective, my preference is to keep the film close to reality. I love realism, natural play, soft and organic writing. I prefer to keep this treatment with my films. However, this does not have to be the case for all stories. Stories are the product of what we observe, how we see society and how it shapes us. “
Filming during a pandemic, with a strict SOP requirement in place can be quite difficult. Salikin and his team were also not without this challenge. “It’s a very boring phase when there is uncertainty and then you get impatient and just want to keep filming, get on sets, work with the actors and come back to the area. our crew to a minimum and taken safety measures. “
The cast and crew of the film are as follows: Hammad Siddiq is the creative producer of the project, while Ahmer Hussain and Hammad Khan take the reins as executive producers. Seraj Us Salikin also worked as a producer for the project, alongside Hamza Ali and Erum Bashir. The screenplay was written by Seraj Us Salikin, Hammad Siddiq and Ahmar Anwar. Much of the cinematography for the film was taken care of by Muntazir Mahdi, who is also one of the editors alongside Salikin and Minhaj Naeem.