After four long years of hard work, the first feature film in the Baloch language, “Doda”, is set to hit theaters this year. The unforeseen Covid-19 delayed the release of the film, which was due to screen earlier in theaters on April 10, 2020.
As part of Sidra Iqbal’s special Eid Show on Aaj Pakistan, movie stars Shoaib Hassan and Abila Kurd honored us with their presence. They promoted their film, which will be released in Pakistani theaters in the fall. They underlined how important this release is as Baloch culture is often overlooked in the country and it is an honor to be able to represent it in this way. Hassan said: “The fact that our language is represented is a huge respect for us, it has never happened, it’s the first time. I pray that this movie will be a success, I hope people will watch it, it’s a great story.
Hassan, who plays the male lead and protagonist, has already worked on several local web series and will release a music video soon. Abila has worked extensively in theater around Sindh and recorded some voiceovers with Doda director Adil Bazanjo.
The Layari and Gadani districts of Karachi are where the film was shot. The story follows the journey of Doda, a former small-town boxer as he tries to learn from his past mistakes and retrace his steps. Sidra said “it’s a contemporary film, and if you go to Layari, the people there are extremely passionate about boxing and football and have a lot of talent”. This film plays a huge role in capturing that.
Hassan went on to say “there are a lot of boxers, footballers and other sports people with a lot of talent but they don’t have the resources or the sponsors who can bring them forward and showcase them.” Overall, the movie tries to give a message that despite having a strong passion for something, sometimes it can fail due to other obligations and a lack of opportunities, but there’s always a means of turning difficulties into possibilities. Sidra also commented on the stars’ on-screen chemistry saying “it didn’t feel like this was your first feature film”.
Hassan then talked about the physical changes he had to make to maintain his character. He said “when you are training for boxing it is out of the question to go on a diet because the training is very difficult” “I remember losing about six kg in three months during training” He said talked about the difficulty, “it was very difficult for me to do it, but I had to do it because it was my character”.
When asked how difficult it was for Abila to pursue her passion for acting while growing up in Layari, Abila responded by saying “it was very easy for me, I had the support of my family”. . She also talked a bit about her experience as a child growing up in Layari and how much she loved the sport. “When I was little, there weren’t many female athletes like there are now. I have been passionate about sports since my childhood so I would go from Layari to Nizamabad“
Additionally, a fan who had just seen the trailer called out the stars. He said he wanted to express his gratitude to the stars for taking such an initiative and how happy he is that his culture is represented to everyone in the country. when asked what he would like to say to everyone watching this, the caller responded by saying “a lot of talent is represented, however, Pashtun and Baloch talent rarely get a chance to be promoted and they should be highlighted and recognized” “Thank you thank you to our stars and your channel for promoting our culture and our boxing through your show and this movie. I have watched the trailer countless times and I appreciate the hard work that has gone into it.
The film was written and directed by Adil Bizanjo and produced by Habib Hasan and Imran Saqib. The film is shot in Balochi but is also expected to be dubbed in Urdu. Watch the trailer for the upcoming film below.
We are extremely proud of the direction Pakistani cinema is taking. Paying attention to other cultures, social issues and individuals is a promising start. Great examples of movies that have given these to the limelight include Doda, Kamli, and Joyland. More than meets the eye, each of these films has a lot to offer the country. They tell important stories that are often overlooked and overlooked in favor of making popular movies that appeal to the masses. We hope to see more diversity in the film industry soon.
Watch the interview below