LAHORE: Like many of the old school directors in Lollywood, Hasan Askari seems to be desperate for new direction.
He is considered to be a prolific director for the industry. He is making a last attempt at films; through his new production company Vega movies and his interest in the Pashto film industry.
Today, Askari says that he will be looking for talent in the Pashto film industry for many of his films, with the local industry in Lahore left as a shadow of its former self.
For his latest Urdu film Dastaan, he says he will be casting actors from the Pashto film industry.
This film is expected to be out in April or May 2013.
“Dastaan is a film where we will be casting artistes from the Pashto film industry, because the actors or artistes from our film industry cannot be relied on any longer,” says Askari.
“I think that Pashto films are strong and have a widespread impact on modern day sub-continent films,” he adds.
“I feel the actors are more disciplined too,” he says.
Askari is optimistic when he points out that Pashto films have quietly developed a bigger market than the once dominant Punjabi film circuit.
He says the international market has allowed for producers to make films with fewer resources.
With lead roles by Moammar Rana and Zari, the cast also includes Shahid Khan, Jahangir Khan and Asif Khan.
This film is unique because it will be dubbed in both Pashto and Urdu, to cater to the maximum amount of people.
This has been done before and Askari is sure that it may help the project to reach more audiences.
“It is unfortunate that in the past, these types of films have focused more on Punjabi culture, instead of trying to address social problems,” says Askari.
The film’s plot will try to explore the theme of extremism, something that has taken its toll on the Pashto film-makers over the last decade or so.
Askari explains that Jahangir Khan will play the villain representing extremists while Moammar Rana will play the role of a young man who wants to avenge the death of his father, a police officer.
Askari also has another film which has already been passed by the censor board and will be released in February.
This project also tries to address underlying social-political constructs of peace in a time of uncertainty.