A couple of days ago, APD shared the poster release of upcoming feature documentary Indus Blues. This is an exclusive insight into the film which will reveal what can be expected from this colorful celebration of the folk music from different parts of Pakistan including previously unreleased production stills. Indeed, films such as Indus Blues are a ray of hope for the development of independent cinema in Pakistan and filmmakers such as Jawad Sharif are at the forefront of bringing socially sensitive and culturally significant issues to light.
Indus Blues is the brainchild of filmmaker Jawad Sharif, who talked exclusively to APD Plus about his project.“When I travelled to other parts of the world, it saddened me how their music is highlighted and how we treat our folk music artists in comparison. Our folk instruments are so rare that even very well educated people are not aware of their existence, let alone the idea of enjoying their music. It is unfortunate how artists with such exceptional talent could have gained exposure and recognition, had they been supported. Indus Blues is a little effort to highlight these cultural treasures.”
He also criticized the TV soaps and drama industry in the country in general for ignoring the folk culture and music in Pakistan. “I think our drama industry is controlled by a very few people who are more of a part of the problem than solution when it comes to addressing taboo social issues. This is why people can barely find substance in them. This is where independent cinema needs to fill the gap where the TV drama has failed.”
However, he does not have merely empty words to offer and his record is backed up with critical acclaim for his work.
Indus Blues is already being recognized on international platforms and is already representing Pakistan around the world. Indus Blues has already been nominated at the Regina International Film Festival for the International Documentary Award at the festival.Jawad acknowledged the hard work of his team for the outcome of the project. “I would like to thank every single team member for their unconditional support and hard work for this project. It simply would not have been possible for me to send this message across to the world without their efforts.”
The film also features performances of a previously unreleased song by Arieb Azhar and of classical dancer Nighat Chaudhary, other than a special appearance by folk revivalist and musician Saif Samejo of the Sketches band.
The film is shot on location in Hunza valley in Gilgit Baltistan, Rahimyar Khan in Cholistan Desert, Umerkot in Thar, Sindh, Goth Khamisu Khan in Hyderabad and Keti Mir Muhammad in Badin, Sindh. Other than those locations, the film is shot in the cities of Peshawar, Lahore, and Lyari Town in Karachi as well as Mubarak Village along the coast of the Arabian Sea.
Indus Blues is directed and produced by Jawad Sharif who has already worked on award winning documentary film “K2 and the Invisible Footmen.” The film was about the plight of the porters and sherpas that assist expeditions to mountain peaks. Jawad Sharif has received awards on cinematography and editing on the film, which was shot at the K2 base camp among other locations in Gilgit Baltistan and Nepal.