Half Hour With... A Craftsman And A Storyteller..

What has been a source of inspiration to you lately?

My inspiration is always driven by the challenges we face as a society and its ever changing nature of problems which affects all of us, in some way or the other. And that’s why we happen to create films with plots that are driven by social issues. Audiences click with it, relate to it and enjoy it.

What's the best part about doing what you do, making films?

Firstly, I can't thank God enough for making me do what I love the most, and also getting paid for it! The best part about it is that each time it's something different. A new story, some new location, situation. It is barely the same routine every day. As a filmmaker our work is unique and brings about different challenges. What feels really good is when you see something coming to life which you envisioned a year before. In general, I love everything about what I do.

The most hideous thing someone has said about your work?

Pretty sure there have been many! But honestly, I don’t really remember. I don’t take negativity that seriously and try to ignore it. Or get over it so I don’t really remember. This something that I would advise to you too; if you feel the criticism isn't worth another moment's thought, have it move over.

What is an average day like for you at work? Full of hustle?

It entirely depends on day to day basis and on my work schedule. I don’t really have any fixed schedule or fixed things which I do daily. Some days I am totally free and some days super caught up. But yeah these days I am working out and cycling regularly. Besides working on my next script. And yeah, on Sundays I like going to Sunday bazaar.

The best and worst criticism you've received on your work?

I think most of the time I have received positive criticism and good reviews for the work I have done. There are quite a few. Best criticism I have always received from the audience is the little fans I have. Worst criticism, as I mentioned I don’t really care and I don’t remember.

What inspired Quaid E Azam Zindabad?

This film was inspired by the rooted dishonesty in our system and how it affects all of us. It is not always crystal clear, it is nuanced and hidden. Yet, it hits everyone differently.

How is this project different from the rest? What will be different about this film?

The story is very unique. That’s the difference. And it has some really cool action packed sequences which you haven’t seen before in any Pakistani movie. A lot of VFX work has been done. This type of VFX you only see in Hollywood films and we have tried to achieve something very ambitious and challenging with this.

You don't take your celebrity status seriously. And public opinion says, you're very laid back and chill. Where does this humility come from? Preach.

 Isn’t it a good thing? I am comfortable in my own skin. Honestly I have never considered myself a celebrity. I am a craftsman and people respect me for my work. So the humility comes naturally.

Your thoughts on the ban culture rampant in the country?

The ban things only because we lack association and platforms to claim our rights. Once we have the needful, banning films, dramas and more will not be as easy as it is right now.

What’s one thing that makes working with Mahira Khan and Fahad Mustafa fun?

Both of them have great energy. It is almost contagious. And the fact that they have a very strong drive which keeps everyone motivated on the sets. Not everyone has that kind of vibe.

What’s 'The Dream?'

Living the dream right now! I dream to continue making films and see Pakistani cinema grow in the coming years.