Director: Bilal Lashari
Writer: Hassan Waqas Rana
Stars: Hamza Abbasi, Shamoon Abbasi and Ali Azmat
IEarlier in 2010, we reported that Hollywood producers are auditioning for film actors in Islamabad for a high-profile Hollywood/Lollywood collaborative project. The director of the project, Bilal Lashari has shot his first full-length feature film called Waar, in collaboration with ISPR. The film has been produced by MindWorks Media with Hunt Lowry, producer of “Donnie Darko” and Warner Bros.’s smash hit “A Walk to Remember” and numerous other well known films.
Waar (to strike) is an action/thriller and drama film, written by Hassan Waqas Rana and stars Pakistan’s finest actors, Shaan Shahid and Shamoon Abbasi, otherwise the rest of the cast are brand new actors. The storyline has been inspired by the war on terror in Pakistan and its effects on the world but with a very stylised interpretation of it. There have been many Hollywood movies which have dealt with the same issue including Syriana (2005) and A Mighty Heart (2007), but most of them failed to portray the situation properly except for Syriana which received generally positive reviews.
The English-language film (Waar) has been shot at various locations in and outside of Pakistan, from the beautiful hills of Islamabad to the second best tourist destination in Pakistan, Lahore to the fascinating valley of Swat (the Switzerland of Pakistan) in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, where a major military operation was launched two years ago. But most of the scenes and script are based around locations in Islamabad. Some parts of the film have also been shot in Istanbul, Turkey.
As reported earlier, the soundtrack of this one of it’s kind film has been done by Qayaas. “Inquilaab, Khayaal and Pal are part of the soundtrack,” says Khurram Waqar, the lead guitarist of the band. The presence of Qayaas in the film makes the project sound even more interesting.
According to IMDB, the estimated film budget is $2,000,000 (PKR 170M or 17 Crores). The film being produced by one of the major film studios in America, Warner Bros, will be first screened at some major international film festivals and after its successful screening at the festivals, it will be released worldwide. Mindworks Media‘s Dr. Hassan is ramping up several other film projects and has big plans of restarting the film scene in Pakistan.