By: Mohnish Singh
As the sudden onslaught of the Coronavirus pandemic brought everyone’s life to a grinding halt and theatres across the world had to shut their doors for the audience, several filmmakers opted for a direct-to-digital release of their films.
Writer-director Faruk Kabir has no regrets that his film Khuda Hafiz (2020) premiered directly on a streaming media platform, forgoing its theatrical release. “I expected the story to resonate with the youth, but since it released on OTT, people across all age groups reached out to me and told me how the film impacted them,” Kabir tells an online publication.
Toplined by Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi, Khuda Haafiz released on August 14, 2020, on Disney+ Hotstar. The film received a good response from critics and went on to do extremely well on the digital platform.
Buoyed up by the overwhelming response from the audience, producers Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak wasted no time in announcing a sequel to the film. The writer-director says that he always knew that Khuda Hafiz would require a second part.
“The story of Sameer and Nargis remained unfinished at the end of the film. I had once shared the idea of a sequel with Vidyut so that his imagination could take flight. Post the success of the film, Kumarji was eager I carry the journey forward,” he says.
Spilling some beans on the upcoming sequel, Kabir says that he has about three months of writing to do before it goes on the floors in April, 2021. While Khuda Haafiz was majorly shot in Uzbekistan, the sequel might be shot in two different locations, he reveals.
Talking about the bond that he shares with his lead actor, Vidyut Jammwal, the writer-director says, “Our relationship goes beyond films. After a long time, I have found a friend within the industry. Our conversations are never limited to cinema. I want to showcase the depth in his personality on screen. As far as his character in the film goes, the sequel will see him do action sequences, as that is his forte, but only as per the requirement of the character.”
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