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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Zulfikar Sheikh Opens up on Sacch – the First Ever Pakistani Film Shot in Scotland

Zulfiqar Sheikh is a director and actor, known for Aansoo and The Alex Salmond Show. He is married to Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh… Both of whom have collaborated for Pakistani film Sacch.

Sacch is a story of the betrayal in one generation affecting the lives of the next, peppered with romance, music and the most beautiful scenery the big screen has to offer.

It reportedly marks the first time the Pakistani, Bollywood and British film industries have come together to produce an international film.

On reuniting actors and team members from Bollywood, Lollywood and British cinema, Zulfikar says:

“The idea was there for about 5-6 years. I grew up in Scotland idolising Amitabh Bachchan and all these Bollywood actors – so you want to work with these people.

We living in this country, as Asians, we don’t have any problems across the border – you would usually find that in India or Pakistan, but we want to live in harmony and collaborate together.

So I spoke to a few people about my idea and with a few friends in the two countries so we started working on the film.”

Not only does Zulfikar and producer wife Tasmina based in Scotland, but so is the female lead Elysee Sheikh, who makes her silver screen debut in the film.

Did his personal experience and drive him to set the film in the country?

In fact, the supporting actors and dancers are from Scottish casting and dance companies.

“Scotland is a very beautiful country and the story fits in well with the views and scenarios. It’s basically a true story that happened 20/25 years ago which took place in Scotland.

Since we were born and brought up here, thought we should pursue the film. Plus, since it’s my home, it’s easier to do things in a particular way.

I wasn’t keen on taking big names for the leads. It was important to choose actors who would fit the roles. I took some auditions and wanted Indian artists to be with the Pakistani artists.

But with India and Pakistan at the border, something is always happening.

I was in talks with Poonam Dhillon and some other actors, but they had to be dropped last minute due to the tensions building up and they didn’t want to work with us and Pakistani artists didn’t want to wor with India.

We were in the middle, so we decided to take the technical crew from India and took actors from Pakistan – which made it easier in a sense because we wanted to show it in Pakistan, but the cast was mixed with the newcomers as well as the experienced faces.”

Other top talents in the film include: Asad Zaman Khan, Humayoun Ashraf, veterans Javed Sheikh, Nauman Masood, Uzma Gillani, Fazila Qazi, Ayesha Sana and a stellar supporting line-up including Zulfikar Sheikh and Tasmina Sheikh.

Sacch also boasts of an eclectic range of music directed by Bollywood’s Simaab Sen with talented lyricist Fatima Najeeb penning the songs.

A host of popular Indian and Pakistani singers have lent their voice to the movie such as legendary Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Indian singing sensation Armaan Malik, with supporting vocals by Elysee Sheikh.

According to Zulfikar, the film’s financial revenues are secondary to him. He has made the film stating that the two countries don’t need to fight with each other:

“When we do things together and work together. We can do things in a positive light and are artists. We want to take art to different parts of the world and show what we can do together.

If you have a fusion between India and Pakistan, it’s amazing and we can do much better things in a union than separately.”

Sacch will have its UK release under the banner of HUM Films on 10th January 2020.

Check out the trailer of Sacch here:


Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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