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Playwright and lyricist Ali Moeen’s next project is a motion picture he holds dear, and for which he has collaborated with longtime friend Asad Mumtaz, an award-winning director of photography-turned film director. The feature, titled ‘Aashiq’, is being readied under their freshly formed banner, Offbeat Media. A first-look poster that was put out on the social media by the makers recently is generating buzz. It shows a frightened minor, in rags, holding on to his school bag and an empty pencil box, while there is complete darkness around him

Moeen and Mumtaz would rather not spill the beans yet. “Can’t give anything away,” said the writer, while talking to Gulf News tabloid!. However, he promised that “it’s a subject no one in Pakistan has touched before.”

For Mumtaz, the film “denudes [the] society’s corrupt elements.”

The duo are currently finalising the cast. Hamza Firdous, the proud son of veteran actor Firdous Jamal, who studied acting in Dublin, is in already, and so are Saleem Mairaj and Adnan Shah Tipu. The child actor, Syed Mohammad Ali, who plays the eponymous role, is said to be the youngest brother of Syed Fazle Hussain, also an actor (remember Ramchand Pakistani?). The hunt for the female lead is on.

Aashiq has music by Ahmed Jehanzaib. Moeen was all praise for the composer-singer: “He’s very innovative. Also, this [film’s] particular subject is best suited to his style.”

While it remains to be seen whether the two industry pals shall prove to be a dream team quite like Bollywood’s Salim-Javed or Hollywood’s Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, both Moeen and Mumtaz are having a ball working together. The cool camaraderie is expected to translate on to the big screen with Aashiq.