This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Navin Waqar, renowned for her work on TV and Radio, is making her debut in film-making with Josh the film (English Title: Against The Grain) which is being showcased at the 14th Mumbai Film Fest today. Josh is being screened in the world cinema category of the festival and has already made headlines both in Pakistan and across the border.
Q1: You have so far restricted yourself to TV and radio assignments: what inspired you to say yes to the film project Josh?
Initially I was not interested in doing a film project because that’s is a whole different ballgame but when I read the script, it was the message of Josh that led me to say yes. It speaks of important issues and seemed like more than just a film for the sake of film.
Q2: What for you is the Josh of Josh?
The ability to take a stand. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t tend to do out of fear or suppression. Josh for me is all about fighting the power.
Q3: What can you tell us about your character in Josh?
I play Ayla who is a reporter for a youth channel and is friend’s with Aamina’s character.
Q4: You were working with a truly stellar cast including Aamina Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Khalid Malik, Parveen Akber and more. How was the experience filming with these seasoned actors?
I have been lucky to have worked with quite a few seasoned actors in the two projects I did before Josh so this was an added bonus. It was a wonderful experience. When you are around people who know the industry better than you because of their experiences, there is so much to learn. It was a relief to see how everyone was so professional and humble at the same time.
Q5: Do you plan to do another film after Josh, or was this a one off?
At the moment no. I am not really racing towards doing films, I am very happy with the work I have been doing on TV. If there will be a film, I will be more than just an actor in it hopefully; maybe a producer or writer as well.
Q6: You tend to be extremely selective about the work you do on TV: are you only interested in particular types of roles?
Not at all. I take up roles that are a challenge and have something to say. I want to be able to do every role as an actor; I don’t want to be a type cast. The character has to be appealing or challenging for me to say yes to it.
Q7: How did you feel when you found out that Josh was being screened at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival, one of the region’s most prestigious festivals?
It felt wonderful and I am very excited as to how it will be received. I am hoping it will make strong waves as a film in whole and that the message in Josh will be appreciated.
Q8: Have you seen Josh on the big screen yet: are you anxious, worried, nervous about watching yourself on the big screen?
I haven’t seen it on big screen yet and honestly I am slightly nervous about it. I am always a bit nervous when it comes to watching myself on TV as well because I always feel like I could’ve done better and then beat myself up about it.
Q9: How was the mood on the set?
It was professional and a lot of fun! The entire cast and crew was like one huge family, always laughing or playing music or singing or cracking jokes and at the same time getting work done. There was never a dull moment. We worked long hours but everyone on set was in such amazing spirits that it never seemed boring.
Q10: How was the experience of working with first time film-producer and director Iram Parveen Bilal?
Iram is a sweetheart and a wonderful human being. She has this amazing energy about herself and is absolutely clear on what she wants which is a dream come true for an actor. Her positivity is contagious and what I admire about her is that she was constantly on her feet running around, making Josh happen. It was quite honestly her passion for Josh that got me onboard this project.
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