‘I want to shed a new light on women' ‘
GLOBAL MOVIE MAGAZINE|September 2020
‘I want to shed a new light on women' ‘
The show is about women taking ownership of their lives.’

With the success of his Web series Churails, PakistaniBritish Director Asim Abbasi has achieved the near-impossible: The series has opened up crossborder entertainment after a lengthy embargo on Pakistani artistes and content in India.

In Pakistan, the eye-brow-raising themes in Churails such as homosexuality, lesbianism, domestic violence and kitchen murders, has opened up a widespread furore and a potential threat to the well being of the cast and crew.

Abbasi tells Subhash K Jha, “Tomorrow, I hope more film-makers will come forward to break more taboos and keep this dialogue going.”

Churails has become a huge talking point in India and Pakistan. How did this project crystallise?

A lot of the themes that Churails addresses had been festering with me for a long time, and after Cake, I was creatively ready to explore them.

But I was aware that the type of content I wanted to make could not be made for local cinema or television.

It was serendipity and my good fortune that Shailaja (Kejriwal) approached me after watching Cake.

I pitched the idea, and then wrote the pilot episode and the series Bible on the basis of which this project was commissioned.

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Your producer is an Indian lady?

Yes, Shailaja Kejriwal is a true supporter of creative talent and gave me full freedom to play with the genre, and tell this story as honestly and bravely as I could.

How did you weigh in on the concept of burqa-clad vigilantes? Weren’t you daunted by the sheer audacity of it?

I believe all art has to be audacious.

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September 2020