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Written by: Beenish                                                                                                                                                             Slogan Magazine

Hamid Haroon told once that he could be a good radio voice. How right he was. Of the many goodies that FM89 offers, Sohail Hashmi is one.

However, Sohail is certainly more than a disc jockey. It appears his first love is telefilms. He feels like a kid in a candy bar and does not want to miss a single opportunity to do everything in that genre.

When asked about his directorial ventures, he says, “I’d say it is very adventurous field to be in. I was asked to be a director when I was acting in my first play in Pakistan(I had previously done acting in the UK). It was called ‘Hum’ and I was the male lead, working with Sania Saeed.

When asked what made him switch from marketing to acting and direction, Sohail says, he always knew what he wanted to be.
“But in one’s early life, one works to make money and to build houses, etc. I did all that and then realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life not having done what I really wanted to do. I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to relate a very sad story about myself at the age of 80 or 90, if I live that long”. Being a go-getter of sorts, he says he told himself that he would have to grab the bull by the horns and that if one had faith and courage, one could do it.

“Pakistan being my home because of the number of people I knew here, it wasn’t that difficult,” he declares.

His secret of success? “I am a strong believer in ‘harkat mein barkat hai’. You take one step forward and people come two steps forward and people come two steps to help you. You have a great people in Pakistan… … people who motivate and help you with a positive attitude. That is why I have made decision that the time had come to do what I wanted to do and have no regrets later.”

Sohail’s recent work is a telefilm. “Himmat is very close to my heart. It is a story brought to me by Arsalan khan, Ayub Imran and Wasim, who also directed a telefilm. The story focuses on a man who is very close to committing suicide because of the problems he has in the family. Then something stops him. The story about how it happens, the people he meets and the events that place that day. He finds out that day. He finds out that a lot of people are in a worse condition.”

Sohail conducted tests on audiences and found that different people liked different aspects of the film and related with the characters in different ways. Each of them experienced different feelings. He feels that if the telefilms stop even one person from committing suicide and gives hope and Himmat, and then the team has succeeded in communicating the message. And this is what he derives his satisfaction from.

Telefilms, he says, gives an opportunity to young filmmakers to tell the stories they believe in. Those who have the courage to experiment can be liberated from the tyranny of commercials considerations. Inspired by Micheal Moore, Sohail feels that people should start by taking out the camera and shooting a lot of stuff that’s going on. He feels that there should be more of a telefilm and documentary culture in Pakistan.

“The beautiful thing about this country is that without formal institutions, people come forward and demonstrate tremendous talent. It’ our job as directors to go along and say they doing a very good job. If people find one thing nice to say about someone or something, I think it is good for the whole country.”