Filmmaker Faruk Kabir made his debut in the film industry in 2010 with Allah Ke Bandey. And now the director’s film Khuda Haafiz, starring Vidyut Jammwal, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Aahana Kumra, Shiv Panditt among others, is all set to premiere on Disney+Hotstar today at 7:30 PM. We had the opportunity to get in a tête-à-tête with filmmaker where we asked him about his experience while filming during the lockdown, working with Vidyut and much more. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
The feeling — a sense of having hope in a situation full of despair, of keeping your resolve to fight for love. That feeling is what truly inspired me. Sometimes, we give up too soon, or come too close and give up. For me, the story of a man travelling to an alien land, where he does not understand the language, knows no one there and has no clue whatsoever where his wife is, was very interesting. I simply found myself asking, how far and how long would I go for love?
Well we just managed to wrap up the shooting of the film at the cusp of the lockdown. Uzbekistan had its own set of challenges, language being one. Just like Vidyut’s character faces in the film, we also faced the extremely cold winds and temperature, shooting in a location with zero networks or toilets or hotels. We simply relied on our walks for almost 9 days in this one extreme location. Nonetheless, the entire post-production of the film has happened amidst the lockdown. Having said that, you can’t edit, or score music, or grade your film sitting at home, certain thing can happen being at home. But for the larger creative pursuit, I, as a director, need to engage with my collaborators one on one. This time, we did it with masks, gloves and enough distance in check.
I think its more like, ‘What made Vidyut take the brave design of going against the grain of his image?’ You need guts and conviction to do that. As for me, I had already written the screenplay with no one in mind, so I was open to an actor who was open to doing this part as per my vision of it. Vidyut showed absolute surrender to me within our first few meets and from there on, I knew we would be in a very nice, ego-less creative space to tell this story with a singular vision and honesty.
Blessed. In a time when there are so much despair and uncertainty in the world, I count my blessings that I have a silver lining in these grey clouds. Vidyut and I spoke about it at length, and we both feel — what better time than right now to reach you in your homes and hopefully entertain you in that time. God is kind.
Well, I had begun to write the first draft of my next screenplay in the first two months of the lockdown. Post Khuda Haafiz’s release, I will resume that process that’s going to take another four to five months. I first want to write with a free mind, only then will I further in it. I don’t want to make a “Project” I want to tell “Compelling Stories”.