Indian and Pakistani, 2 enemy soldiers trapped together, discover more than their differences that conquers their animosity.
My name is Ali Kapadia - a Pakistani filmmaker living in San Francisco. Stories have fascinated me growing up in Pakistan. As a kid, I spent my time coming up with elaborate personalities for all objects around me. I watched a ton of movies and imagined how I would make my own when I grew up but being a shy kid, felt out of place telling people I wanted to be some fancy film director. So I joined a computer school just like every other Pakistani boy I knew. It was really later in life that I realized I was just, born to be a storyteller. It kept chasing me.
I've treated filmmaking as a side hobby for years and have even managed to work with big Pakistani directors in my spare time. I finished my computer education, won the annual national Interactive Multimedia championship twice along the way (ACM - GIKI) - once for making a versus fighting game engine (it's like Street Fighter) - and got offered a job in a Silicon Valley based technology firm. I was eventually transferred to their headquarters in San Francisco USA, but over the last 7 years, the fire of filmmaking has slowly consumed my heart entirely. It is what wakes me up in the morning now, it is what I think about all day, all night, scenes, characters, shots, sequences, all written down and timed to the millisecond. I have made several short films by now, every vacation over the last several years has been a short-film project (links below). Now, I am embarking on the biggest dream of my life, to direct and make my first full length feature film.. to become a full time Pakistani feature film director.
(Pic below - Me as an assistant director on a full scale production)
As of April 25th 2012, I've given up my life in San Francisco to move back to Pakistan, to make this film. As I write this, I am on my flight back to Pakistan. I've given up my job, my apartment, sold all my belongings and am leaving everything else behind to focus and gather every resource possible to make this film. I've organized an excellent film team in Pakistan of artists that I admire. They are good! My friends are supporting me in every way they can and have rounded up $25k to get me started … yeah they're great! But unfortunately, feature films are expensive and I need at least an additional $75k to be able to complete and release this film. That is why, I have come to you.
My Previous Work
The first film I ever made - Evolution Man - A stop motion animation music video made with legos for a Pakistani band.
It was ranked at no.6 in 2005 on the best Pakistani videos countdown of all time countdown by Indus Music TV (now MTV Pakistan)
Visualization of a poem - Tum Yeh Kehtay Ho - Faiz Ahmed Faiz is one of the most popular poets of the South Asian region, a voice against oppression and inequality. This was a visualize of one of my favorite poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem.
Behind the scenes: http://goo.gl/luPd6
What Pakistan Needs Now - An animated short I made for a film competition held by TEDxKarachi on the subject of "What Pakistan Needs Now". It won the competition.
Voices From Pakistan - In 2010 Authorities in Pakistan banned Facebook over religious issues which began a new debate on the Muslim world's reaction. This documentary brought to light the voices of a diverse set of Pakistanis on this debate.
Seerat - Seerat is a series of short documentaries taking an up close and personal look at the different types of Pakistanis, their values and beliefs on how they look at life and what keeps them going.
The Film's Background
Pakistan is a country surrounded by complex issues and I am passionate about addressing them. One of these issues is Pakistan's relationship with India.
Ever since the independence of Pakistan and India in 1947, they have repeatedly been at war with each other and there seems to be no end to it. The two countries have fought 4 wars with hundreds of thousands of casualties and refugees. Even when both countries have half their population living on less than $2/day, they spend more on their military than education, poverty relief and social services combined. The strife is fueled by political interests that benefit from such conflict and the conflict has no place in today's world.
At the center of the conflict lies Kashmir, a disputed territory between Pakistan and India. A mystical, beautiful place situated in the Himalayan highlands between Pakistan and India. Our film takes place in the mountains of Kashmir between the border of Pakistan and India, the epicenter of the conflict. Yes, my team and I will be traveling in the midst of this troubled yet incredibly beautiful region and shooting the film there. We want this film to cut in to the heart of this issue.
A Pakistani and an Indian, 2 soldiers trapped together, discover more than their differences, that conquers their animosity and leads them to question their pre-conceived biases, moving towards profound self awareness, and thus an illuminated love for humanity, that ultimately transcends all distances.
2008 - Once again at the very brink of an all out war, Pakistan and India, the enemy neighbors are in a deadlock over the massive mumbai attacks that have swept the two countries in a renewed wave of intense conflict and blame game and threats of a full fledge war.
Kashmir, Pak-India Border: Thrown into the midst of a raging thunderstorm, an Indian Major Ashok and a Pakistani foot soldier Qasim lose their way in the vast Himalayan mountains. The enemies come face to face and a tough fight ensues, the Indian major gets captured.
Stranded inside a cave, waiting for the storm to subside, the 2 enemies slowly begin to learn about each other, to trust, each sharing their life’s journey, their joys and sorrows - all that has shaped their lives. The 2 unlikely friends help each other grow and find their true paths.
When the storm eventually clears Qasim has to make the ultimate decision .. will he turn Ashok in and gain professional merits for once.. or set him free and lose face in front of his fellow soldiers yet again....
The universe has brought these 2 lost souls together so that each can understand and grow beyond. It is the hand of destiny at work, the intense sandstorm, and this moment in time.
The film has a simple, yet powerful message. All of us are humans. The tags and titles that define us are purely man made. To argue and kill over such is pointless.
This movie is about bringing peace to the Indian Subcontinent which is home to 1.4 billion people. It is about our common humanity that gets lost in the vagaries of politics, ethnicities and war. By supporting this movie, you will help spread the message of peace and humanity to a region.
Pakistan has a small struggling film industry, for various reasons. Films are about character developments, life challenges and role models. Intellectual poverty is a real problem in Pakistan and a vibrant film industry promotes personality education. Your support on this film will be a fresh step towards bringing encouragement and activity in the Pakistani cinema's revival.
The film has been currently funded through friends and family to a tune of $25k. An additional $75k is being raised through Kickstarter so that my team can complete and release the film.
We are currently in discussions with distributors in Pakistan and India to show this movie in theaters in both countries. We are currently in discussions with some major actors in Pakistan and India. We will keep the Kickstarter community updated as the casting is finalized (end of May).
We have put together a great selection of rewards for your generous donations. We hope these will add value and make you feel part of the family that is producing this film. This is a true team effort and we can not do this without your support. Many thanks!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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• Early 1080p HD download of the film. • Our eternal thanks. • Your name forever listed in gratitude on the official film website.Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • DVD Copy of the film mailed to you. • Credit as 'Close Friends of the film' on the film website.Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • Invitation to Red Carpet Premiere of the film (travel and lodging not included). • YOUR NAME listed in the film credits Special Thanks section (yes, your name will be on the big screen!).Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • Be a co-advisor of the Film, with full credits with your name in the film. A personal call from the filmmakers to discuss the film's ideas and your feedback. • Invitation for 2 to the exclusive after-party of the Red Carpet. • An additional invitation to the Red Carpet Premiere. • Receive an exclusive prop used in the movie. • Carpet Premier, with direct access to the cast, director, and producers in San Francisco.Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • (optional) Your company will be featured as an official sponsor of the project. This includes logo or representation in the movie, on marketing materials, and on the website as well as at events. • Sub-Executive-Producer Credit, to be shown soon after the film ends. • Dinner with the film makers. • We will name a character in the film after you • A Cameo role in the film (travel and lodging to Pakistan not included)Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • Personal one on one crash course in independent filmmaking by Ali Kapadia himself, including lessons on Pre-Production, Directing, Editing, Special Effects including Stop Motion Animation. • Full Executive Producer Credit (to be shown at the center of the big screen right after the film ends)Estimated delivery:
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• All the above. • Ali Kapadia will direct and create a short video for you or your business for free (excluding traveling and lodging). • Full access to the film sets, star cast and crew throughout the entire shooting. • Named as Peace Ambassador for Pakistan and India. • (optional) A podcast interview of you taken by Ali Kapadia on the subject of peace between Pakistan and India.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)