Bollywood Director didn’t Work With Atif Aslam Because He ‘Didn’t Want Trouble.
National Award-winning director Onir says he wanted to work with Pakistani singing sensation Atif Aslam for his film Shab but couldn’t due to cross-border tensions.
“I really wanted to work with Atif Aslam. It would have been so amazing, just like a retreating therapy. But unfortunately, at the time when we had to record, things were not great between the neighboring countries. There were a lot of problems happening with films and ours is a small one, theatresI couldn’t afford that kind of thing,” Onir stated.
The entertainment industries on both sides of the border felt the after-effects following the Uri attack in India deeply. A few Indian outfits imposed a ban on Pakistani artists working there and then some Patheaterspulled down Indian films in retaliation. Film-maker Karan Johar, for instance, had a hard time releasing Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
Onir, who has previously helmed critically acclaimed projects like My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal and I Am, is not happy with the cross-border tension spilling into the world of entertainment. But he says the situation is complex.
“I understood the sensitivity. I have a lot of friends in Pakistan and I have been to the country. I think it is a loss for both our industries if we don’t exchange talent. But the entire situation is complex. Both me and Atif discussed it. We will work together in future since we didn’t do this.”
As a tribute to his friendship with Atif, Onir has used one of his old songs Tere Bin in the film as a background score. Atif recorded the 2006 hit for Onir’s Bas Ek Pal.
Shab features Raveena Tandon and Ashish Bisht and marks the debut of French actor Simon Frenay in Bollywood. The romance-drama is about dreams and relationships.
Talking about the film, Onir said, “The journey with Shab was very special. It started 17 years ago, when I wrote the first draft of it. It has been a really long journey.”
Set in Delhi, the film tells a story that revolves around the search for happiness and love of multiple characters. It will hit the screens on June 30