Dubai – Pakistan’s popular actress Saba Qamar has confirmed that she will be playing Qandeel Baloch in a biopic.
“There are stories that need to be told and I want to help tell them,” Dawn newspaper said quoting Saba Qamar.
The actress is on a roll. The buzz around town right now is focused on the upcoming release of her Bollywood debut Hindi Medium where she plays the female lead opposite Irfan Khan, veritably one of Bollywood’s most illustrious actors.
Following the movie, though, Saba is set to make even more waves with a topic that is close to her heart.
“I am going to be playing Qandeel Baloch in a biopic,” Saba finally confirms, putting to rest the rumours that had been afloat for a while now. The initial glimpses from the upcoming venture show the actress peering into the camera, uncannily looking like Qandeel. “I have cut my hair in order to play her,” says Saba. “It’s going to be exciting.”
The biopic is a venture by Paragon Production, produced by Nina Kashif, General Manager of Urdu1. The channel produced the telefilm Ek Thi Marium last year. Qandeel’s story will be called Baaghi and according to Nina, will tackle the social issue of honour killing.
“Qandeel represented the double standards that exist in our society,” continues Saba. “She had the courage to expose how two-faced people could be.”
“We want to tell Qandeel’s story in a very sensitive way,” says Nina. “We do not want to glorify her nor do we want her to look pitiful. She was a victim of honour killing and this is what we will particularly be highlighting. The story has been written by Shazia Khan, the screenplay is by Umera Ahmed and Farooq Rind will be directing.”
The cast will include Sarmad Khoosat, Ali Kazmi and Osman Khalid Butt, with Saba playing the lead. How does Saba feel about playing Qandeel, a figure who divided opinion with her social media presence?
“An actor is not defined by boundaries and I am not afraid at all,” she says. “Qandeel was a victim and a fighter and somebody needs to tell her story. She was a woman who went from place to place trying to find work for herself. She tried to work in transport, read devotional naats on TV but wherever she went, she was misused by people. It was only much later that she chose to make videos on the Internet. And she did all this and earned money and used it to support her family. Her family didn’t have any problems taking money from her but they felt that it was all right to turn around and kill her in the name of honor.”