“Dhai Chaal Doesn’t Need To Eye Festive Events To Find Footfalls” Says Producer Dr Irfan Ashraf

Ahead of the release of Ayesha Omar, Shamoon Abbasi and Humayoun Ashraf starrer Dhai Chaal, producer Dr Irfan Ashraf spoke exclusively with Galaxy Lollywood about his idea of making a film based on convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, his aim to break out from the shackles of Bollywood’s idea of cinema, the production challenges, opting for a solo release and more.

Was Dhai Chaal a film he always wanted to make, or did it have a specific starting point? We asked. “I’ve spent a significant part of my life in Baluchistan, where I pursued my education in Quetta. This allowed me to gain profound insights into the region, including its people and rich traditions. Keeping in mind the prevalent misconceptions about the province, Dhai Chaal is grounded in the backdrop of Balochistan, yet it transcends to address broader national issues in Pakistan. The underlying objective is to bring forth an untold tale that clears the global misconception propagated by Indians, who falsely portray Pakistan as a breeding ground for terrorism.”  

Elaborating on the same he added, “India, particularly, fosters a misleading perception about Baluchistan, suggesting the presence of anti-Pakistani sentiments among its residents. But in reality, the people of Baluchistan are as devoted to Pakistan as any other citizen. It was a fulfilling dream to showcase their patriotism and sacrifices onto the cinematic canvas.”

Ashraf revealed that Dhai Chaal is mostly shot in real locations. “We shot at the famous Balochistan Tourist spot Pir Ghaib, the mountains of Bostan, and Chiltan, as well as the New Kahan camp near Hazar Ganji. Shooting outdoors has its own set of challenges, I am thankful to the locals who coordinated with us.”

When asked if he spends lavishly or practices cost-cutting, the producer said, “I have fueled this project with personal investments. It is a high-budget film with over 15 cores including post-production expenses. Despite the challenges, I made every effort to accommodate my cast and crew.” 

Ashraf believes that Bollywood over the years has consistently produced films that perpetuate misconceptions about Pakistan. “Bard of Blood, Code Name: Tiranga, Mission Majnu, Pathaan, The Attacks of 26/11, the short film The Line of Freedom and the upcoming film Mujib solely depict Pakistan in a negative light, even though they are involved in terrorism and sponsor such activities.”

He added, “India sent Kulbhushan Jadhav to Pakistan, who was identified as a RAW operative agent. As of now, they are busy constructing a fabricated narrative of disowning him. The entire world is aware of this reality. As Pakistanis, we must step forward and take a stand against these misrepresentations.”

Films in Pakistan are mainly released on festive occasions. When asked about the reason for going solo, he said, “Dhai Chaal doesn’t need to eye festive events to find footfalls. It boasts elements of action, breathtaking landscapes, stellar cinematography, and a solid script. The film is aimed to revolutionise the landscape of Pakistani cinema,” he concluded.

Directed by Taimoor Sherazi and written by Farheen Chaudhry, Dhai Chaal releases in cinemas on December 8.


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