Hamza Ali Abbasi is best known for his performances as the lead actor in many of Shah Sharahbeel’s plays. Abbasi was the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Christian in Moulin Rouge and Vikram in Bombay Dreams. But Abbasi has more talents to share and has now turned director for his first film, Mud House and the Golden Doll. While Abbasi has these theatre performances to his credit, he felt he had “a script in mind about which I could only make a feature film”. Talking to The Express Tribune, Abbasi said that the film was inspired by the life of a man from his hometown. He said that a disturbed man lived in Multan whose parents drowned and he was raised by his uncle who did not treat him well. “This man is so traumatised that he is stuck in the past and is regarded by others as a drug addict or a malang. Nobody dared to ask him the details of his life or help him and he is left to roam the streets of Multan.” Mud House and the Golden Doll is going to be released in July 2011. The 100-minute-film took eight months to make and has Abbasi playing the role of the mad man, while the fictional character of the golden doll has been taken on by Abbasi’s distant cousin, Tajwar Raza. The story line focuses on their ‘innocent want of friendship’ but the problem arises when the society eyes them strangely. This was a learning experience for Abbasi who has not been formally trained in film. But how did acting in a film differ from theatre? “Theatre is a very raw and unforgiving [field]; there are no second takes. In films, a small role is big enough to see. In camera, it’s your eyes that talk the most, whereas in theatre, your role is exaggerated.” Abbasi is also acting in two feature films; Hassan W Rana and Bilal Lashari’s Waar and Shamoon Abbasi’s Gidh. Believing that stereotypes need to be broken in the filmmakers set-up, Abbasi says: “I need to say that for young people to make films, all one needs is a good story idea. If need be, one can tell the tale through a cell phone camera! The stereotypes need to be changed. I don’t believe it when young people say that money is needed — money does not matter!” Some think that Mud House and the Golden Doll is an art film and not a commercial film, but Abbasi believes that such a distinction is only made in Pakistan. “Our film industry should be more like the Iranian Film Industry where they tell the story in a simple manner and that gets screened the world over. Pakistan, too, has a lot of talent, but the younger lot just needs to come up with a story idea and they need to be encouraged to make something, no matter how silly it is. They should still be able to make something.” Abbasi hopes to take the film to international film festivals and “later on, I hope to screen Mud House and the Golden Doll at all mainstream cinemas in the country.” Source :Express tribune

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