We are not short of multi-talented creative individuals and writer/director and producer Rafay Rashidi fits in to the category perfectly. He ventured into films by directing, writing and producing Thora Jee Le. Although his debut film didn’t do wonders, Rafay introduced a large ensemble cast, who through this film got a lot of exposure and recognition in the industry. As for him, he got introduced to the media industry himself and went on to work on major projects like Sajal Aly starrer O Rangreza, in the capacity of Managing partner of Momal Productions. His latest project Baandi is currently on air and is being well received.
After working on a whole chunk of dramas, he is going solo now with his very own imprint Rafay Rashidi Productions. While his first project was a government documentary that will be showcased soon, he is gearing up for another project that has been talked about for the previous two years now. Rafay has recently acquired the script of Badshah Begum. We got in touch with Rafay to find out more!
After Thora Jee Le and some major serials, you are going solo for your next project, how has your experience been so far?
The project is not a serial but it is being helmed in the format of a short web series! It will be made available on a digital portal. My experience with the entertainment industry has been great and with a series of this scale I am hoping that it is appreciated, as it is obviously different.
What stage is the project at right now? And who will be in the director’s chair for the series?
Right now the project is at its casting stage and locking in a director. I’m in talks with a director who has shown interest, however we have not announced it yet as everything has to be contractually obligated for me to put his name on the one sheet poster that was recently released.
Besides Iman Ali and Gohar Rasheed who else is starring in the series?
Beside the two, Imran Ashraf has very recently hoped on board. There are still some pivotal characters left for whom casting needs to be done. There will be another major female character in the series. However it is still in pipeline. It will be confirmed within the next month. We will make an official announcement along with the director then.
When will the project go on floors?
It is meant to go on floors in fall as summers is about to begin and it will be extremely hot so it is not advisable to shoot in this weather. It is a heavy production so we need to work somewhere around fall/ winter in cool months. 80 percent of the shoot will be taking place out of station, so weather is very important consideration for the project. Expected timeline is October/November, we are hoping that it gets started in time. We need to work on pre-production during the summer. We will have to visit numerous locations for it. We are taking every step with care so that our production value doesn’t get hurt. It has only been a month since I acquired the script and officially announced the project.
What genre will the series fall into and what can audience expect?
This is definitely not fantasy, it not Game of Thrones it doesn’t have any dragons…its is not a period drama, it has nothing to do with partition era it is a very modern era based. I would call it a thriller,more like a psychological thriller along with adventure. I can’t find a conclusive name for it but these are the elements involved. It has sibling rivalry, hunger for power. It also has elements of drama, romance, action. So it has a lot of different elements, and a good product is only made when it has variety of elements.
He further added that “I hope we can take it to the level it deserves once the director comes on board. I am aware that I am taking another risk after Thora Jee Le but I believe in taking risks and executing something that is different because I’ve a commitment that there is a lot of Pakistani talent and content that needs to be aired other than what we usually see on television. I’m that sort of film maker or producer who would like to push the boundaries of the content. The major artists that have so far affiliated themselves with the project I am sure they have also seen some charm in the script.“
The script is written by Saji Gul, and there is no channel linked to the series as it being aimed to be released on a digital portal. Web series have been around for some time now, it is good that Pakistani entertainment industry has also stepped into the sphere now. Year 2019 welcomed first ever Pakistani Series Enaaya and some are in the works including Badshah Begum. The project surely sounds exciting and we will get to see Iman Ali after a very long hiatus. We will be updating you on this as we find out more.