Skip to main content

The venue in Karachi was brimming with anticipation and fervor on Friday night as the press eagerly waited for the team of upcoming feature film, Kamli to make an appearance. The trailer of this Sarmad Khoosat directorial, written by Fatimah Sattar and starring Saba Qamar, Sania Saeed, Nimra Bucha and Omair Rana in prominent roles while introducing a new leading man Hamza Khawaja, played in the background, drawing one into the hauntingly beautiful visuals.

Perhaps, it was this curiosity to know more, the excitement of the unknown and unseen, the interest of seeing a new hero or the Cannes-returned producer (Sarmad has co-produced Joyland), emotions were running high in the hall. The wait was long, due to a cancellation of flights from Lahore, but Atif Aslam’s soulful tune Mukhra kept the vibe going.



(L-R): Kanwal Khoosat, Ashar Khalid, Saad Sultan, Awais Gohar, Fatimah Sattar


It was refreshing to meet the young team that had put together this feature film. Writer Fatimah Sattar, an NCA graduate, thanked Sarmad who helped him as a guide and mentor in order to successfully put her thoughts and ideas into words. Director of Photography, Awais Gohar, who has previously worked with Sarmad on Aakhri Station also shared that he was honoured to be trusted by an experienced director.”There is collective effort and team work behind this film to make it as close to the director’s vision.”

Saad Sultan, who earlier composed the gem Laiyaan Laiyaan from Jackson Heights is the musical genius behind the OST and the background score of Kamli.

“It is a common practice nowadays that directors approach a composer with a brief for the song they want. They usually want one catchy track which is somewhat inspired by a current hit song. For Kamli, it was completely opposite as Sarmad wanted me to start from scratch. I was excited yet nervous at the same time,” Saad shared.

The music of Kamli is not your usual OST as Sarmad shared that they had started working on the music album much before the filming has started. “I think we were working on the music when we were writing the film,” he said, while Saba also agreed that she said yes to the film after hearing Naina.

Read: Kamli OST: 3 melodious tales of love and loss

Interestingly, the film’s picturesque locations are creating a lot of buzz and the team revealed that it is shot at the Soon Valley in Punjab. Most of what we’ve seen in the trailer are sets designed to create a real feel. “It may come as a shocker but 80% of audio of Kamli has been recorded on outdoor locations,” said sound recorder Ashar Khalid.

Headline star of the film, Saba Qamar entered the hall, full of enthusiasm and filled the room with high spirits. To make amends for her delay – caused by delayed flight schedules – she danced for her fans to Kamli‘s songs, Kaash and Agg. Hamza, Sarmad and Nimra joined her too. Sania Saeed, who is currently in France, was dearly missed at the press con.



Saba shared her experience of playing Hina, an entangled dreamer, yearning to break free: “I went to the set everyday, thinking today I will get to say something but Sarmad used to say you have to perform with your expressions [she pointed towards her eyes and face] and body language. I’m not like Hina at all because I usually say what I’ve in my mind. So, I thought I will talk during promotions to my heart’s content.”

“It wasn’t an easy shoot because I had to wake up and get my hair braided and then sleep in those braids. We had to walk miles because no vehicles could reach those places where we had to film. It was more difficult to climb up after shoot when were were exhausted. We fell down plenty of times so I’ve actually given blood, sweat and tears to this film,” she added.

Sarmad agreed with her and added: “My cast didn’t just give phenomenal performances in the film, the physical difficulties that they faced and overcame while working on this film are also equally praise-worthy.”



Sarmad, Saba and Hamza dancing to Zeb Bangash’s Kaash


Hamza Khawaja will be making his big screen debut as the enchanting leading man opposite a powerhouse performer like Saba Qamar. He is playing Amaltas, a compassionate yet mysterious wanderer. It is a big opportunity, one that is rare to find in the showbiz industry but Sarmad took the bet and it appears it is a good call.

A physique coach by profession, Hamza has always been associated to performing arts. “I have acted as a hobby and done theater and few short films, but this is my first proper feature. I was called for an audition when the character was being written and I was told that the character suits me. I didn’t get it from the first attempt, but I got a call after two months and then I auditioned again. Later, we had rehearsals and then we started filming it,” he said.

“I’m lucky to have these people as my first team; Sarmad is a great teacher, Saba is a great co-star and with others like Nimra and Omair, it was a learning experience and I wasn’t expecting it to be so big!” he shared.

Read more: Must listen: The soulful, melodious & profound OST of Kamli

Omair Rana, whose character is quite a mystery for the viewers, was eager to work with Sarmad as he shared.

“Nimra and I were filming and I heard Sarmad say ‘I’m so happy I have the perfect cast,’ and it felt so good to hear that. I was chasing after Sarmad and even jokingly offered to hold the boom mic in one of his projects. Thankfully, we worked together this time and I found him to be exactly like what I had heard about him.”

The trailer has no dialogues, but a lot of intense emotions, drama and romance is delivered through nuanced performances, leaving most to the the viewer’s imagination. Kamli can be what you expect it to be or it can be diametrically opposite, but this enigma is its attraction. As Omair rightfully pointed out when asked about his role in the film: “The trickiest question has been how I can answer that question.”

“The character is in a periphery but is a part of how all the women worked or what happens to them and the plot moves. My character is someone who accidentally happens to be around these lives,” he shared very hesitantly.



(L-R): Sarmad Khoosat, Hamza Khawaja, Saba Qamar, Nimra Bucha


Talking exclusively to Something Haute, Nimra Bucha, who is playing Zeenat an artist who wants to paint a perfect world, described how she views the film.

“Kamli is a story of three women and their lives being intertwined with each other. They are set in a space which in itself is a character; in this wilderness and beautiful place. They are all very different and [we get to see] how they play out in each other’s lives. It is a mystery and very atmospheric but it is not boring,” she said.

Sarmad Khoosat, the captain of the ship, has given us masterpieces like Humsafar and Shehr-e-Zaat, TV projects that were loved and lauded internationally. The director knows the pulse of the audience and can make commercially viable projects. So, why does he make films that are generally perceived as art house projects?

He shared that we should get out of this redundant discussion that what is commercial and what is not. A story should be interesting and worth telling, and people will come to watch it. “I think it is a luxury to tell a story with your individual expression. We didn’t compromise on the story or our freedom to make it the way we wanted. It is a female-centric story, made by a team of women. For me, Kamli is an intense love story but it is open to your interpretation.”

Kamli is based on a short film by Mehar Bano. The screenplay and dialogues of the film are written by Fatimah Sattar with additional story by Sarmad Khoosat. Saad Sultan is the music producer. It is edited by Saim Sadiq & Nadeem Abbas. Gillian Rhodes has done the choreography of the songs. The film also stars Omair Rana, Adeel Afzal and Iman Shahid. It is produced by Kanwal Khoosat and Sarmad Khoosat, and Irfan Khoosat is the executive producer.

Kamli has been cleared by all the three censor-boards in Pakistan and is scheduled to release on 3rd June. 2022 nationwide.

Leave a Reply