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(Abdul Rauf Khalid, is an acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker, writer and director. Rauf Khalid is known for his patriotism-infusing plays. He has also worked in films and television plays. Rauf Khalid is also a painter, rhymester and educationist. His paintings have been exhibited in the World Fineart Gallery New York and the Omma Art Gallery in Crete Greece. Rauf Khalid is the founder President and Chancellor of the National Institute of Cultural Studies, Lok Virsa Islamabad. Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview with Sana Naseer Shaikh of The News Tribe.)
The News Tribe: Tell us as how and when you started writing or what were the circumstances which led you to be a writer or ventured into the television filed?
ABDUL RAUF KHALID: I used to write for Radio Pakistan even when I was a junior school student. My play ‘Rozgaar’ was an instant hit, and all regular radio listeners still remember the play, which was later on played on PTV. I wrote some stories including Neeli Gurya in my student life. I kept writing for Pakistan Television and Payya Aur Patri, Lambee Sarak, Bara Ghantay, and Bhola are few to mention.
TNT: I have come across that you have been a bureaucrat. What compelled you to switch over from bureaucracy to television industry and to be a writer?
ARK: Only a ‘yes man’ can be successful in bureaucracy in Pakistan. I am primarily a writer and I am caught up in drama and film-making. TV plays or film are dominant medium of education and communication.
Just like a book which is written once and remains there in the market with all the information and education, a well produced drama or film with a message also serves a tool to disseminate information and educate people.
TNT: Who has been your inspiration?
ARK : I am inspired by David Lean, the director of “A bridge on the River Kuwai” and Franklin J. Schaffner director of “Papillon”.
TNT: Tell us something about your ongoing projects?
ARK: I don’t know why we are misjudge our people. If you don’t give them something that invites their attention to focus on, then how can you figure out their powerlessness? In fact, we have never tried to give them something, which may get going them.
They have been provided the same bits and pieces with the same chemistry each and every time. Nobody has seriously tried to bring a change. Some people who tried to proved to be so short-tempered that they vanished from the scene when their product was not welcomed by the masses. I guess they shouldn’t have given up because the way our industry has deteriorated it will take sometime to make our people aware of the cinema precincts.
ARK: In 2003, I released a debut film Laaj. As a writer, director, producer and actor, was highly praised by the intelligentsia, calling it the best film ever made in Pakistan. The film Laaj won 12 Bolan Awards, 14 Graduate Awards, 4 National Film Awards and Luxstyle Award.
ARK: Yes, I have been given “Pride of Performance” award by President of Pakistan. “The Kashmir Medal” by Prime Minister, Bolan Award for Best Director, Film, Writer, Best Supporting Actor, Graduate Guild Award for Best Director, Best Writer, Best Producer, Best Supporting Actor, & Best Original Script, National Pakistan Award for Best Director, Best Film, Best Writer, Best Original Soundtrack shared with Zille Huma, Lux Style Award for “Best Film” in 2005.