Armad Khoosat, Outstanding Film Director Kamli, launched an audio-video podcast. Title Kamli Ki Kahaniit’s in the form of a Q/A (in a lighter tone, not talk tough) where he interviews people associated with the film. One of those interviews is where he spoke to the film’s cinematographer, Awais. R.Gohar.
Their association dates back to Aakhri Station (2018), the anthology limited series that should have had many more reruns due to its non-linear storytelling than it did.
The name Awais Gohar may or may not ring a bell depending on how intrigued you are with the developing film and music scene in Pakistan. But let’s play again.
Awais A. Gohar is an excellent director of photography as well as a storyteller-director. A multimedia artist, he has done an excellent job within the music scene. His cinematic trajectory has been on the rise for years. But his directorial ambition also translated into music videos like ‘Pinjra’ by Sunny Khan Durrani, ‘Lafz’ by Faris Shafi, ‘Introduction’ by Faris Shafi, ‘Nazar’ by Faris Shafi, ‘Molotov’ by Faris Shafi, ‘Mango Chutney Hot Sauce‘ (as co-director with Meesha Shafi), ‘Rajkumari’ by Meesha Shafi and ‘Circus’ by Wooly and the Uke (as co-director).
It is therefore not surprising that each image of Kamliwas striking.
The number of episodes aired includes others associated with the film such as Saim Sadiq, who directed joylandand was the editor of Kamli.
One of our favorite episodes is the one featuring Awais. Through this podcast – where Sarmad Khoosat is the host and Awais is the guest – we learn more about the man than before, including how he grew up, the love for cinema at a young age and the challenges he overcame while making Kamli.
“I never paid attention to pre-production and focused on the location and what you could do with such a space…I always thought I would see the energy of the space, the flash because in my head, it would be something else. “But compared to Kamlihe explained how challenging it was.
Sarmad Khoosat rightly noted that Awais is not just an artist but an inspiration to many. He asked her to talk about her personal story first. Awais studied film at the National College of Arts (NCA). As a child, he had once rented a VCR that broke while he was riding it back to the guy he had a “setup” with. He noted how this episode created complete panic and he remembers the incident to this day. But as far as he can remember, he has always been interested in cinema. Between these stories, they chained to his career goals and his first collaboration with Sarmad Khoosat.
Throughout what is a very personal podcast, we learn that while fashion films and shorts were okay with Awais, it’s the big TV medium he has no ambitions for.
A cheeky Sarmad Khoosat persuaded him to answer why he has such ambivalence towards television to such a degree that he has absolutely no desire to pursue it – ever.
“What bothers you on TV,” Sarmad asked.
“I think I can only say no to something if I did it, so there’s a pragmatic reason to say yes or no. Simply saying something without any experience seemed strange to me. TVC, fashion, short films, I tried them all. Even during NCA days, someone told me to do a project and I did it to have a logical reason to say no. TV and TVC – bring too many interruptions. I like or prefer a compact crew of three and no one else. When someone called me for a TVC, I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about the fuss and how everyone would watch and share their own opinions doing this or that.
In other words, if, according to Awais, you have a good team and a good understanding, it can change any medium. We agree with Awais 100% here.
The podcast also focused on what an Awais artist is and Sarmad noted how every artist needs their private time to decide anything.
Through this podcast, we learn that Terminator 2: Judgment Day, according to Sarmad Khoosat is his favorite film. Why? You have to watch this podcast to find out why.
An overwhelming growth in technological advancements in cameras or lights and managing a crew has also changed the way film is made today. Awais, who was the youngest in the production and lighting department, came on board because he felt a good vibe. He also had greater confidence in Sarmad Khoosat as he does not mass-produce films and tells stories worth telling. When Sarmad showed his trust in Awais, he told himself to do the same and trust him.
Of Kamli From infancy to transitioning into a music video director, the life and times of Awais A. Gohar can be seen and heard through this podcast. And as you listen, it becomes clearer how easily we can convince ourselves to do what we want and do better.