“Khulay Aasman Ke Neechay will be the first Pakistani film to be simultaneously released in India and Pakistan, as well as overseas. I strongly believe that it is only through the exchange of films between India and Pakistan that the way for people-to-people contact can be paved on a large scale,” says Javed Sheikh
Pakistan’s movie magnate Javed Sheikh will reach the zenith of his Tinsel Town career in 2007, with the release his production, Khulay Aasman Ke Neechay, the most expensive film ever produced at home.
In a recent chit-chat with the Sheikh who is in India these days for post-production work (read dubbing) on the film, the leading actor and director from Lollywood spoke at length about his present-day activities and his roles in upcoming Indian films.
As I reached his Cantt residence during a typical Lahore afternoon, a confident-looking Javed Sheikh with a broad smile welcomes me at his office-cum-sitting room.
Amidst smoking a cigar and receiving calls on his persistently ringing cell phone, the darling of Lollywood candidly shared his ideas, thoughts and upcoming projects.
A lot is being speculated about Khulay Aasman Ke Neechay (KAKN) regarding its showing in India?
Yes, it will be the first Pakistani film that will simultaneously be released in India and Pakistan, as well as overseas. I strongly believe that it is only through the exchange of films between India and Pakistan that the way for people-to-people contact can be paved on a large scale.
When is KAKN slated for release?
I’m trying to release it on Eid-ul-Fitr in October and with it, new vistas will hopefully open both for Pakistani and Indian film-makers because there are a number of subjects of common interests on which independent or co-productions can be produced.
It’s a high-budget film as I have invested Rs.8 crores on KAKN. It’s the most expensive film ever produced by any Pakistani film-maker.
Original music and script are two things Pakistani cinema seems to lack. What is the position of your film in this regard?
I have never compromised on quality or originality for my productions. I’m of the view that originality is all about one’s dedicated effort. The music of the film has been composed by the late Amjad Bobby. The film has been written by Babar Kashmiri but the basic idea of the movie is mine. Although it is a commercial venture, it does have undertones of a strong social message.
The word on the street is that a number of Indian singers have lent their voices to the film’s soundtrack?
Yes. There are seven songs in the
Javed Sheikh stepped into the world of glamour as a lead actor back in the 1970s, and his journey thereof speaks volumes of the success of a self-made man as he belongs to family that has absolutely nothing to do with show business.
Javed Sheikh was smitten by the acting bug at a tender age. He was cast as a child star in the film, Insaan Badalta Hai, in 1961. From 1968 onwards, Javed frequented stage shows and Radio Pakistan programmes. Perhaps it was then that the seed of artistic revolution was sown deep inside his soul. He debuted as the lead actor in director Qamar Zaidi’s film, Dhamaka, opposite Shabnam in 1974.
Unfortunately, Dhamaka did not do well at the box-office and Javed Sheikh went off the movie circuit for a nine-year hiatus, during which he made frequent appearances on Pakistan Television in both plays and commercials.
The PTV serial that that left the deepest and most indelible impression was the super hit-television drama serial, Shama starring Javed Sheikh with Ghazala Tabassum as the romantic pair, who later came to be known as Ghazala Kaifi. Javed Sheikh also played a key role alongside Shafi Mohammad and Roohi Bano in the another drama serial, Kala Daira.
Today, Javed Sheikh is a household name and he is one of the most popular and busiest actors of Pakistan who has to his credit a number of TV dramas (Ankahi, etc) and films, including those as producer/director (Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua).