Mahesh Bhatt has always been a frontrunner when it comes to importing talent from Pakistan. From actors to musicians to singers, Bhatt has always utilised talent from across the border in his movies. The latest is, popular Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed, who was cast in a significant role in Jashnn, is making a movie - an Indo-Pak collaborative effort - with Bhatt playing a noteworthy role in this endeavour, handling the creative aspect of the film.
The film, titled Balla, will borrow talents from India and Pakistan and will produced by Shahzad Naseeb and Sameena Humayun Saeed. Shagufta Rafique, who has penned a number of films for the Bhatts, will script and direct Balla, which will star Humayun Saeed in the lead, while "talks are on with Pakistani actors Iman Ali [Khuda Ke Liye] and Juggun Kazim [who hosts talk shows on Pakistani television]," Humayun informs me. Meanwhile, Shagufta is in talks with Tabu to enact the title role.
Humayun plans to use talents from both the countries. "Music composer Raju Singh will be recording five songs for the film, which will be recorded in the voices of Indian and Pakistani singers. Plus, a lot of technicians will be hired from the Indian film industry, since they're well versed with advanced technologies," Humayun reveals. The filming will take place in Pakistan and Dubai from March onwards. "Bhatt-saab has agreed to be on the sets to steer the project in the right direction," he adds.
So how did the idea of making an Indo-Pak collaboration germinate? "Bhatt-saab would always encourage me to make films using talents from the two countries. That triggered off this project. In fact, we intend making a series of movies, if the first one clicks," Humayun adds. The film will see a simultaneous release in India and Pakistan.