With 7 Din Mohabbat In and Rehbra slated to release this year, Ayesha Omar’s third cinematic project for 2018, Kaaf Kangana, has already begun shooting.
While the film went on-floors earlier this year, with several changes in the cast, Ayesha has signed onto the film alongside Sami Khan and first time actor, Eshal Fayyaz. In conversation with Images, seasoned writer, Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar, who returns to the director’s chair for the second time, spoke highly of his association with the Bulbulay star.
“Ayesha accepted the part with all her love and respect. And I feel she’s doing complete justice to it. She’s working very hard; so diligently and she’s so committed that I sometimes feel she’s not working in my film, but perhaps, I’m working with her,” Qamar observed with contentment. “So are Sami and Eeshal; they’ve equally been a blessing for me. I think God’s just opened doors for me and made it all easier for me.”
Speaking of her character, Gulnaz, exclusively, Ayesha revealed that she will be playing an exuberant girl from Lahore. ”My character is based in the Walled City of Lahore. It’s of a very bubbly, fearless, feisty girl called Gulnaz,” she disclosed.
“She’s somebody who is not scared of anybody, she’s got her Dada [paternal grandfather] wrapped around her finger. She belongs to an upper-middle class family, and she’s just very rich and colourful,” Ayesha continued. “We’ve been shooting at actual locations [in interior Lahore], and that’s been really tough, but we’ve seen the footage and it’s come out really well.”
Qamar, too, felt that Ayesha has been able to bring her character to life as her roots belong to the City of Gardens. “Ayesha being brought up in Lahore helps me because she’s doing really well [with her dialogue delivery],” he shared. “I wanted a Lahori girl for the part and her personal experiences are making it all the more real.”
All praises for the veteran writer-turned-director, Ayesha explained that this is the first time she's working with Qamar despite having been offered three of his projects in the past. “It’s interesting how I’ve never worked with Khalil Sahab. I was offered three serials that he had penned, and even Punjab Nahi Jaungi, but I couldn’t take those up because either the dates didn’t match or I had other commitments,” she said.
“Khalil Sahab is a brilliant man. He knows what he’s doing and I think he’s one of the most amazing directors I’ve come across. I’ve actually realised that he and I are on the same wavelength,” she added, speaking of her experience with the Pyaaray Afzal writer.
“I’ve shot for two films in Lahore, and it's tougher here because of the work-ethics as compared to Karachi. Everybody there [in Karachi] is much faster and quicker, they value time more, whereas people in Lahore are a bit laid-back that way, but Khalil Sahab is really on it.”
Whilst Ayesha’s part is set in the backdrop of the city fortified during the medieval era, model-turned-actress, Eshal Fayyaz will be seen playing the character of an Indian girl, Kangana. In a love-triangle of sorts, the Bulbulay actor says she had no hesitations regarding screen-time and space of taking up the disposition.
“The other [female] character and I don’t share a lot of screen space. Even if we did, that’s never an issue for me. There are two completely separate tracks, so I think we only have one scene together because of [Sami Khan’s] a character that connects the two,” she noted. “Nonetheless, I actually love working with other actors because I love creating chemistry with them.”
Being made in collaboration with the ISPR, Kaaf Kangana, though primarily an intense romance; will have a patriotic feel to it as well. Currently under production, Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar hopes the film will release on Eid-ul-Adha this year, battling it out at the box office with Humayun Saeed’s Jawani Phir Nahi Ani sequel and Fahad Mustafa’s Load Wedding.