The press conference for Sarmad Khoosat’s “Kamli” was held at The Marriot, Karachi on Friday. The main crew and cast were all there, except for Sania Saeed who was at Cannes bathing in the critical praise of “Joyland” (which has won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize). Nimra Bucha was at the event too, having chosen “Kamli” over the premiere of MCU’s “Ms. Marvel”.
The star of the night was definitely Saba Qamar who lit up the room when she arrived. She danced, with the song previews, and pulled her director Sarmad Khoosat, and co-stars Nimra Bucha and debutant Hamza Khwaja with her.
Omair Rana piped in shortly after, “Agar kisi ko shak tha ke Kamli kaun hai…” (If anyone had any doubt who Kamli really is…), and was greeted with thunderous laughter by the cast and audience.
The Crew of ‘Kamli’
While Sarmad Khoosat was all praise for his stars, he began the conference by highlighting the efforts of the crew. Nearly all youngsters and first-timers, the crew’s energy and verve was the reason that “Kamli” was completed during the pandemic; something Khoosat sahab kept gushing about. That and the fact that the team was mostly comprised of women, and that’s why they worked extra hard on the project.
Writer Fatimah Sattar
Sarmad said that Fatimah threw out all the suggestions and first drafts from him in the beginning and started fresh. That’s why it was her story at the center, driving everything in the film. A former student of Khoosat’s, she was apparently one of the three people in his class to actually do her homework assignments.
Director of Photograph Awais Gohar
This being Awais’ first film, it’s a marvel that most of “Kamli” was shot in natural light, with such vibrant colours. However, what’s even more impressive is how clear the film looks. There’s no haze or blur on the screen. The choice of colour palette and the cinematography reflect’s Mr. Gohar’s craft and steady hand.
Sound by Ashar Khalid
Khoosat sahab applauded Ashar’s efforts because he said that sound, more than anything separates films from television. Ashar apparently had to record sound in the wilderness with hyenas and jackals howling during the night. Sarmad’s praise for him was unending since Mr. Khalid managed to preserve 80-85% of the film’s original recordings for the final print, leaving minimal use for dubbing. Ironically, Ashar got the only bad microphone at the conference and had to switch.
Music Composer Saad Sultan
Kamli’s soundtrack is mesmerizing. If you haven’t listened to it yet, go listen right now. It’s on YouTube and Spotify. Saad Sultan, the maestro behind the music not only composed a lot of original music, but also incorporated Reshma Ji’s raw vocals into a new rendition of “Mainu Tu” which she sang before her death.
In fact, it was this music that ensnared Saba Qamar to say yes to the film without even reading the script. She jokingly said “’Naina’ suna kar phansa liya aapne” (You trapped me by playing the song ‘Naina’).
Producer Kanwal Khoosat
Khoosat sahab highlighted his sister’s contribution and called her the “Champion” of the film for being with him every step of the way. From the remote guest house where the entire cast and crew stayed to the shooting location of Neelwan valley waterfalls which were an hour’s drive AND a 2-hour trek away, Kanwal Khoosat remained a pillar of strength throughout the shoot.
The Cast of Kamli
The more said about her, the better, Saba Qamar said that her character was completely different from her personality, and more different than any other character she had done in her life. While she was energetic and bubbly in real life, her character Hina was shy and conveyed everything through her eyes. She dubbed the role the most challenging she’s ever done because of that fact she also joked about.
While Nimra Bucha didn’t say much about her role, Saba Qamar opined that her character was the highlight of the film. The teaser only featured one shot of Nimra Bucha sahiba, but that was enough to reel us in at PakistaniCinema.Net.
The debutant himself was all praise for his co-stars and director and said he couldn’t have wished for a better debut.
The Story of Kamli
While Khoosat sahab refused to talk about the plot of the film, small hints were passed around. He repeatedly said that it was a triumph to get the film made and passed by the censor boards. Saba Qamar also said that the film talks about subjects we as a nation are not comfortable with and that it was about time people started paying attention to each other’s thoughts and feelings and look deeper.
“Kamli” will hit theaters on June 3, 2022, this coming Friday.
It looks like a beautiful film with a very engaging story. Please go watch it and support Pakistani cinema. It needs more stories like “Kamli”.