What could give a much needed push to Himachali regional cinema, which staggered after not- so- remarkable start, for the first time a Bollywood actor would feature in a “Pahari” language movie.
Asif Basra, who starred in number of popular Hindi movies and several international English- language productions has agreed to play a role in the yet- untitled Pahari movie, likely to go on floors in August.
The movie is being produced by Silent Hills Studio, a Hamirpur based film Production Company and helmed by Ajay Saklani, film maker hailing from Mandi district.
“Yes, I am supporting Silent Hills Studio and Ajay in the venture,” Asif Basra told Hindustan Times. On what inspired whim to support the project, the 47- year-old actor said, life was always multifaceted with all sorts of things in it.
“I like living in mountains as they bring you closer to the nature,” said Basra, best known for his role in 2005 American comedy film ‘Outsourced’.
“I would like the world to see pahari stories,” added the actor who has feature in popular movies including ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Kai Po Che’, ‘Black Friday’, ‘ Lahama’, Parzania’ and ‘Krrish3’.
Basra has also starred in foreign productions like Quicksand and Outsourced, apart from playing a cameo in “One Night with the King”.
Meanwhile, director Ajay Saklani said, the upcoming movie would be first Pahari film on a larger canvas.
“It would be drama movie with a strong social message. The story revolves around elderly people in the hill- state facing a life of loneliness,” said Saklani.
Expressing gratitude to Basra for supporting the endeavor, the young director said, the actor would be playing an important role in the movie, “Which, of course, he has agreed to do on minimal token money.”
Rest of the artists in the movie, Saklani, told will be from Himachal. The audition for the aspiring artists from Himachal would be held from July 13 to 18 across the state.
Saklani, whose documentary ‘Upaasmar- the taste of hunger’- a film based film about infant mortality in Melghat, Maharashtra- received critical acclaims, said the motive was to give Pahari Cinema a fresh start.
“Efforts have been made earlier, but not at this level,” he said adding that Cinema plays a big role in development of the society and Himachal on this front is lagging way behind.
The aim, Saklani said, is to take Pahari Cinema at a level where it could carve a niche for itself like Punjabi cinema and “Our focus would be the movie making it to the International Film Festival.”