‘A Journey Beyond the physical world’- KASHF
A property developer turned director Ayesha khan has decided to take us on a journey beyond the physical world. Unhappy with the way Islam is depicted in the western media, she decided to take matters into her own hand and talk about SUFISM.
Based in Lahore KASHF revolves around two cousins, Armaghan and Ali. Armaghan is born out of an oath his mother makes to a Sufi Pir that her child will “walk the Sufi path when he grows up”. He returns to Pakistan after 25 years unaware of the secret about to change his life and whereas Ali is on his own path of self – discovery to become a Lollywood star. The movie brings to screen a lot of new faces, some off whom have never even acted before, according to Ayesha Khan almost everyone apart from the exception off Rasheed Naz is a non-professional actor. Rasheed Naz would be seen as a‘Sufi Pir’. Bilal Zaman who has never acted before plays the role off Armaghan and the role of Ali has been played by Ali Tariq who has done some theatrical productions with Ajoka previously, but never acted on screen before. Only time will tell how well the experiment shapes out to be but according to the director, the character of Ali has already become a memorable one to the audience who has seen the movie. Ayesha herself is directing her first feature film and describes the experience as a learning curve, ‘KASHF has been a remarkable experience, shooting, the actors, the sound etc.’
It has taken a lot of planning hard work and dedication to realize this dream says Ayesha. In the initial stages Ayesha had short listed Shahrukh Khan to play the lead and he himself showed keen interest but due to some security fears and tightly booked diary was not able to commit to this Indie project from across the border. The movie revolves around Lahore most of the shooting has been done in and around the inner city and Mazaars. She goes as far as to quote the music of the movie as the “sounds of Lahore”. Initial demos do sound refreshing and what one might describe as something very different. It caters for all sorts of audience with music varying from pop songs to live recorded qawalli’s. One off the major drawbacks which might hinder with the commercial sucess of the movie is the fact that 70% of the movie is in english, hence an average pakistani audience might intially might be a bit reluctant.
The film is all set for to hit the theaters in December and has actually already had screenings in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico for select audiences that have been extremely successful. A promo of KASHF was also shown at the Berlin film festival as well as Cannes.
After talking movies we decided to focus our shift onto her production company INDUS VALLEY PRODUCTIONS, talking about the company she added ‘Our goal is to create dialogue through the movies we produce, both within the Muslim world, internationally and especially the USA. As a Pakistani-American I feel a keen sense of responsibility to pursue this line of work ever more critical in light of today’s political and social environment’. Hence her first movie revolves around Sufism which according to her shows us a reality beyond the “physical reality” Sufism and our Sufi Saints be it, Data Saab, Bulleh Shah, Mian Mir are part of our cultural inheritance as a nation and we need to be broad minded enough to accept all facets of ourselves as Pakistani’s.