Early this year, the filmmaker duo of Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia took all criticism on their debut feature, ‘Gumm’, in their stride. And barely a few months on, they are ready to roll their next project, an English-language film, titled ‘The Window’. Speaking exclusively to Gulf News tabloid!, Lasani said that Zia (his wife) and him had been “working on the idea for over a year now”.
“It’s a collaboration with Three-Feather Pictures, a US-based private company,” he added. “They’re financing it, and we are taking care of the entire production, because it’s a Pakistani story.”
He didn’t give any details about the theme or subject of the film, except that “it’s inspired by a true story” and its genre is “drama.”
(For the uninitiated, ‘Gumm’ was a thriller, starring Sami Khan, Shameen Khan, and Shamoon Abbasi.
The film was rejected by critics as a poor copy of the 2013 Canadian film, ‘Wrecked’.)
Both Lasani and Zia, who studied film at the New York Film Academy, have co-scripted ‘The Window’, together with Randy Zuniga, a UK-based writer.
According to Lasani, the film’s screenplay is “the finest piece of writing I’ve been a part of.
“Its main idea is zabardast [fabulous],” he declared.
‘The Window’ is currently in pre-production stage. The cast is yet to be locked, but Lasani claimed to have approached some of the “best people in the business, from the US, the UK, and Pakistan. They are all mainstream actors.”
The film will begin production in January 2020.
While Lasani and Zia turned cinematographers for ‘Gumm’, besides writing and producing it, for ‘The Window’, they feel they ought not to have too much on their plate. They are going to hire a DoP this time.
Lasani is also not willing to call ‘Gumm’ a failure. “Regardless of its box office result, I’d still call it our masterpiece,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that some unprofessional people tried to harm its business. I’m glad we pulled off its mainstream release and also won some coveted international awards. If it was a copy [of the Canadian film], it would’ve never got the three Best Original Screenplay awards which it did at different film festivals of the world.
“It wasn’t a commercial film; perhaps, our approach is very different from that of the other filmmakers here [in Pakistan].”