Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia are the husband-and-wife duo behind this year’s “Gumm”. While their debut film didn’t make quite the splash at the box office, it was well received by film festivals. Their next film, “The Window” is a Hollywood collaboration and seems to be a dark tale. Here’s what the duo had to say about their new project.
First off, they confirmed that “The Window” was in fact, a Hollywood collaboration between their studio, Starstruck Films and Three Feather Pictures, an independent film studio from Hollywood. It’s also apparently the “first official SAG approved film being made in Pakistan.”
The film’s poster shows, what appears to be a starving woman, caged inside a room with bars; light seeping in. This appears to be another dark tale, as with “Gumm”. The difference being that it’s based on true events. Naturally, this piqued our interest as to the kind of films that Kanza and Ammar are drawn towards.
“Film can’t be categorized as dark or illuminated. It’s a pure storytelling medium.”
Their objective appears to be just to tell stories which are as close to reality as possible. This, they believe, helps cinema reach its true potential. As for the poster, the aesthetic has been carefully chosen to reflect the colour pallet of the film, and to complement the story. The same goes for the frames and the storyboards. Being the directors, producers, and writers of the film, Ammar and Kanza have been deeply involved at ever step. However, they’re quick to point out the dedication of their crew in the achievement.
Still, both filmmakers are aware of the impact that such cinema can have on society and feel a sense of responsibility regarding their work. If their vision seems different, it may be by design.
“We know our vision towards film is different but cinema isn’t just rom-com. Or is it?”
The film’s cast has also been making the rounds on social media. Attached to the project are veteran Faysal Qureshi, Sami Khan, Suhaee Abro, and Faran Tahir. The latter is a Pakistani-American actor who you may remember as an Afghani terrorist group leader from the first Iron Man.
These actors were naturally picked for their impressive acting chops. The screenplay of “The Window” has great margins for the actors to perform according to the director duo. As Kanza and Ammar say, “Strong characters lead to strong Screenplays. For us, all the characters in a story are alive.”
Screenplays and acting chops aside though, horror films, though no rarity in Pakistan, have failed to do well. Even “Gumm” was a failure at the box office. Recent films like “Durj” have also not fared well despite controversial subject matter. Yet Ammar and Kanza remain hopeful for their next feature. They insist that “Gumm” was targeted at film festival audiences and wasn’t intended as a commercial entertainer. “The Window”, however, has a “much bigger scope with much bigger targets”.
Both filmmakers have also brushed off any fears of problems with the censor board. Despite the hurdles faced by films like “Durj” and “Swaarangi”, they seem confident in their vision. They’re just concentrating on making a good film at the moment.
“The Window” is slated for release in 2020, though no official release date has been set. The scouting for filming locations has been completed and the first shooting spell is underway.
PakistaniCinema.Net wishes the cast and crew the best in all their endeavours.