One of Pakistan’s biggest TV stars, Faysal Quraishi is all set to make his much awaited debut on the big screen with the upcoming Sorry: A love story. Produced by Faysal Quraishi and directed by Sohail Javaid, the film is expected to be released early next year.
We caught up with Faisal for a brief chat on movies, dramas, and the Pakistani industry.
Tell us a bit about your character in the film.
Faysal Quraishi: In the past we used to have films where the hero would have a certain character, a drama, lots of romance but since a long time these elements have decreased. I’m a big fan of Nadeem Sahab and I wanted that if I do a film then it should be one which would be for those cine goers who wanted to see something different from the normal films being made. I’m trying that in this film people don’t see what they have seen of me in so many dramas.
You’ve been working in dramas for many years now, why did you do a film after so long?
Lots of films were offered, scripts were also alright but as a TV actor it had become very difficult for me because there is a certain audience that is watching you or following you. So I would read that those fans were saying things like we have full faith that Faysal Quraishi will do something different. These words shake you a little bit. So then we said okay since lots of comedy movies are being made we’ll do something different.
You have experience with both television and film. What do you feel our industry is lacking?
Recently Parwaaz Hai Junoon, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 both have done very well. Na Maaloom Afraad 1 did good business as did Janaan…Actually there are very few films being made. At the moment there are about 15-20 films being made and that’s the issue. Once we have more films, then automatically the circuit will be bigger. There are few cinemas, there’s a lot of risk, if you cross a certain amount the producer already entails a loss. Then with international films releases maybe a lot of Pakistanis don’t know about the release so they don’t come to watch the films. Pakistanis and Indians both watch Bollywood films, but with our films it’s only Pakistanis who watch them.
So we will have to cater to others who understand the language or maybe dub the film. So I’m looking at China, which is a very big market…The government should do some work in this regard…Turkey is a very friendly country with us, so is Azerbaijan. We should show the films in their local language so there is a possibility that people will appreciate our films.
If we are catering to an international audience do you think it is important that the film is shot outside Pakistan?
Locations, actors are not things people are bothered with. The real thing people want is content. Content is the most important thing.
We have a major scarcity of studios/ locations in our dramas. Why do you think investments are not being made in this area?
Because there’s no return in dramas. You know beforehand how much money you’ll make…studios are too costly to make a set on and they don’t look so realistic. Creating such an expensive set is not worth it because there’s no return as such. With films, people are trying and we do have studios for those now.
Your interest in bikes is evident, would you call it your first love or second love?
This is a very tough question! First love is acting. Biking is my escape… it takes me somewhere else.