by Ramsha Soofi
“Focus, struggle, observe.”
We sit inside a small, rustic but tasteful café. The furniture is modern and minimalist. Around us, everybody is busy with their own muse. It’s chaotic, yet peaceful, both at the same time. Sipping on sweet caramel honey coffees, Hamza and our team sit one on one, discussing the life of a film maker, fashion photographer, theatre artist, vocalist, dance performer. The life of a professional artist and the life of a young man in his twenties with a vision.
“I started as a fine artist. From a very young age, I was fascinated with the conceptualization of visuals, colours, paintings – anything with vibrancy of graphic arts.” When he went to National College of Arts (NCA), he molded this passion of his observance into film-making. For him, graphical illustrations hold more ground than any of the other artistic mediums. “The other mediums may be my happy places, but film-making, that is my passion.”
The man sitting in front of us is a man of commitment, and of focus. The furrowed lines on his forehead tell his story better than he does. “I set long term goals for myself. I already have my next five years planned ahead. My vision, how I am going to achieve it – everything is set. “ Being focused, having a long term vision for achieving the goals set in life, and facing struggles while being focused generally create a recipe for chaos. Not for this man. For him, it’s a source of energy that flows through his work.
The common mindset found in a Pakistani society does not take the industry of arts very politely. “I never took help from my family. I had to be my own person.” Being the only one in the family with a mind of an artist, he faced difficulties early on trying to convey his vision. In his own words, the struggle never ends.
“I would rather experience something on my own rather than learning a lesson from textbooks. And that is what has kept me going all these years.” The years of hard work have finally started to pay off and now his kin can see the fruit of his passion onscreen.
The main ingredient is “consistency”. But staconsistent is hard work. People grow tired of something not working out their way, eventually leaving it behind and starting afresh. The point where Hamza is right now, almost took around a decade. He has been lucky enough to find family in the form of mentors, and coworkers/ friends. Continuing on the subject of his artistic journey, he discussed the idea of those less fortunate individuals who haven’t had opportunities like he did, “I would want to help and provide mentor-ship to upcoming talents, who do have a vision, but do not have the same chances as I did. I was lucky enough to find people of stature who have helped me to be where I am today.”
The teaser trailer of his upcoming series of short films bases on a very interesting topic, commonly overseen by banal media. Common themes such as female empowerment, while being given importance in the right tone, leave out the dark side of misogynistic classification of male gender and their internal struggles.
He said, very profoundly, “The series of short videos will focus on male artists, the societal pressures put on them, monetary factors; in short showing the struggle of these driven men in a positive light.”
As a professional, he is a perfectionist. Taking inspiration from household names like Wes Anderson and others, he aspires to create a legacy of his own where he portray his culture in a new light. His direction is focused more towards independent cinema rather than mainstream Hollywood/ Bollywood inspired films. “According to my conscience, this coincides more with my ideology of giving something of value to a society.”
The short, but sweet interview ends with him singing ‘chanda chandani’ for us in his soft, sweet of a euphonious voice. Why limit yourself to one medium when you are a man of many talents. You as an individual are larger than life. So – focus, struggle, observe. And, win at life.
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