Sadiq Saleem
"Instep talks to the brain behind upcoming film Ishq 2020, Asma Nabeel."


Does the name Asma Nabeel ring a bell? Let’s make it easier for you. When you open your fridge, chances are that you’ve bought 80 percent of the products inside it because of her marketing influence. This creative genius has been the brains behind almost everything from milk to noodles to cola. She was recently felicitated as Femina Unstoppable Woman by Femina Middle East, and this year she has also been chosen as Pond’s Miracle Woman.

Asma, who has turned around the fate of many multinationals, has now taken the reins of Crew Motion Pictures where she is working on her latest film project, Ishq 2020. Instep talks to the ever enthusiastic Asma Nabeel about her film, the challenges she faced and the Indo-Pak collaboration that she is tight-lipped about.

The title Ishq 2020 is quite catchy. Tell us something more about this?

Asma Nabeel: Ishq 2020 was cooking in Khalid Ali’s mind since long. When he discussed the concept with me, I found the idea to have the potential of becoming a full-fledged film. It took us ten months and around ten thousand cups of coffee to bring the script on the table. At the moment I can only reveal that Ishq 2020 will redefine love. Basically, if you scan through our films, love has been treated in a very clichéd manner. On the other hand, Ishq 2020 tells you to fall in love as well, but differently.

As you said it’s based on a new way of falling in love. How is it different from the current crop of films in terms of execution?

AN: I am not demeaning the work that has come out so far but barring few, most of our so-called films look like dramas on big screen. No one has taken any cinematic liberties or explored the leverage that films are known to provide. We really want to take it to the next level. In terms of music and the overall approach, we are experimenting a lot by giving fresh, credible talent a chance. For our first song, which is going on floors next week, we have hired a Scottish-Pakistani choreographer. The award-winning Najaf Bilgrami is directing the film, who has studied filmmaking from London, and has been an integral part of films like Dukhtar and Wagah.

Do you think that it is safe to let a completely new breed of actors carry the burden of a feature film?

AN: Yes. I come from the advertising background and we analyze the audiences in detail to ensure that our products reach out to everyone. I have used the same technique for my film. As much as we love watching ‘Shaans’ and ‘Humayuns’ on screen, our people also want to see fresh faces. Take India for instance, the current films are bursting with fresh talent. You easily identify with the cast if they are new. You picture yourself in their place. But then understanding the Pakistani audiences and the irreplaceable charisma that our senior stars possess, we have also taken superstars like Resham and Sana on board.

Do you think Pakistani audiences are ready for experimentation?

AN: See I believe love is an evergreen concept. For years we have rejoiced and celebrated love stories on screen. But people do want to see another angle of love in cinemas. Besides the new concept, Ishq 2020 will also bring two superstars of India and Pakistani film industry together. This Indo-Pak collaboration is going to be another highlight. So we are really aiming high. And once the first look is revealed, you’ll realize that the film has a very fresh feel to it.

So where do you intend to take Crew Motion Pictures from here?

AN: There is a lot on our plate at the moment and this is exactly how we like it. We don’t want to be just a one-off producer. CMP is a proper film company that will provide services from scripting to providing line-production and so on. We have recently also signed a film based on the underground band scenes in Pakistan. Another one that we have signed is with Danish Nawaz. Finally, I am simultaneously working on a film based on Special Olympics.

Check out the first look of Ishq 2020 in Instep on Sunday

Writer: Sadiq Saleem (A UAE based entertainment journalist. He can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso)

Courtesy: InStep (The News)

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