Nabeel Qureshi is one of the most successful directors in contemporary cinema today. It was in 2014, this young Pakistani director proved his mettle with superhit movie Na Maloom Afraad and mounted the Pakistani cinema to a brilliant vantage point with his directorial debut. With back to back super hit movies like Load Wedding and Actor In Law, he successfully managed to prove that he is not a one-hit-wonder. Once again, Nabeel Qureshi is out to establish his credentials as a “responsible” director with his two upcoming film projects Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad and Fatman. The award-winning director took to Instagram and announced that he is starting two films simultaneously. This comes as a pleasant surprise to his fans as well as the industry people who always knew Qureshi and his producer Fizza Ali Meerza worked on one project at a time.
Nabeel Qureshi, in an exclusive interview, dished all about his upcoming movies and his filmmaking journey.
1. When did you realise film-making is your true-calling? Since you technically belong to television and theatre medium.
I always knew in my heart that I wanted to be a film director. I started working with television channels since the Pakistani movie industry was still struggling and then carved my way into filmmaking in 2014.
2. Is there any thought process behind choosing themes for your movie projects?
It comes organically. Real-life incidents that impact peoples' lives, in general, or whenever a country is going through some kind of turmoil that affects or impacts people in more ways than one. That always helps or inspires me to choose a theme for my movie. Secondly, the kind of cinema I make is current and has a lot of socio-satire to it. I believe as a filmmaker or as an artist, it is your job to document what is going on in the era you are living in. So if someone sees my film let's say after 20 or 30 years later, they should be able to understand the circumstances around that period. So whether it is a poetry film or music it should depict the time. That’s what I believe in.
3. Do you watch a lot of foreign cinema? What were your earlier influencers or role models?
Well yes, I have watched many movies from cinemas around the world (e.g. Iranian, European, etc) and still want to see most of them but unfortunately, I am short on time these days. I follow the work of many directors that inspire me and my work. Some of them are Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, Raj Kumar Hirani, Anurag Kashyup, Edgar Wright and Majid Majidi.
4. Finally, you recently announced two film projects. Care to spill the beans on movies Fatman And Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad.
Yes! I am very excited about these projects. They are quite unique in terms of their idea /concepts. I can't wait to let the audience see it. Next year is going to be very exciting Inshallah. Talking about movie Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, Its an action comedy-drama, a story about a notorious cop. You can say that it’s a story from the universe of Actor-In-Law or that it is the second installment of a trilogy that I am planning to make. Additionally, I would say that this movie is going to make a lot of difference in people’s life.
Fatman, on the other hand, is a comedy-drama. It’s a story of real-life masked vigilante/superhero. The cast is yet to be announced.
5. Are there any creative differences between you and Fizza Ali Meerza, producer of the movies?
Hmm, not much.
6. How does it feel to represent your movies on international forums as an independent filmmaker?
It feels great.
7. What genre would you like to experiment with other than socio-comedy and comedy-thriller?
8. Any particular reason actor Fahad Mustafa is a constant in your movies?
He is the most hardworking actor, plus he has a strong fan-base and we have great chemistry. Also, he falls in the character perfectly every time.
9. What actors would you like to work with, in your future projects?
There are a lot of actors and it is very difficult to name just one. But still, if I have to name few, I would say Imran Ashraf, Saba Qamar, and Bilal Abbas.
Nabeel Qureshi is like a breath of fresh air in our movie industry. With two movies in pipelines, Quaid-e-Azam And Fatman, we are sure Nabeel Qureshi will add another feather to his director’s cap, with his magnum opus work. We hope to see him succeed in his ventures and make the whole nation proud.