By Robin Bansal
New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) After doing small roles in films like "Armaan" and "Pyaar Ke Side Effects", popular television actor Aamir Bashir is set to direct a film on a subject close to his heart - Kashmir.
Aamir, himself a Kashmiri, has also written the script.
"I have written a script on an authentic story set in Kashmir. It took me just 15 minutes to come up with the idea and I was clear about everything - from its beginning to the end. But it took me a year to finally put it down on paper," Aamir told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.
"Then it took me three more years to finally complete the script. I have been rewriting it with a couple of friends. I'm quite happy with the final draft. I am all set to direct it," added the actor.
Aamir made his foray into television with the serial "Alpaviram" opposite Pallavi Joshi in 1998 and acted in Dev Benegal's film "Split Wide Open" the following year.
"Kashmir Kashmir" is the working title of Aamir's directorial debut and he wants to cast non-actors in the movie to make his maiden venture authentic.
"As of now, the working title for the film is 'Kashmir Kashmir'. I also have an individual producer for the film and am looking for a distribution and marketing team," he explained.
"My film is not a regular Hindi film, but an attempt to tell the story of dreams and dilemmas of the people of Kashmir. I won't cast real actors and I'm looking for non-actors, as I want the genuine Kashmiri tone in my film," said Aamir.
An ardent Naseeruddin Shah fan, Aamir wants to work with his favourite actor in his directorial venture. And he has reasons to cast him.
"I have always looked up to him because he is very giving and so willing to teach those who are eager to learn. He loves teaching more than acting. And I would like to work with him in my first film. In fact, I approached him for a role in my film," said Aamir who will be seen with Naseer in "A Wednesday".
Considering the current unrest in the state over the Amarnath land issue, Aamir is planning to start the shooting only next year.
"I'll have to wait till next year to start shooting for the film. I am dependent on the political situation on the ground and I don't want to shoot my film anywhere else but Kashmir," he said.
He has decided to utilise the available time to train the amateurs.
"A lot of pre-production work is required for the film. SInce I would be working with non-actors, a lot of acting workshops would be needed before the shooting."
Asked about his long absence from the television circuit, he asserted: "I don't want to be a part of television now. I stopped doing television ever since daily soaps happened.
"I'm not a very prolific actor as far as the frequency of my appearance is concerned. I decide upon my script and character first and then if I like it, I take the role. Even money is not a priority with me," he added.
Aamir is not very happy with the current trend on TV.
"Though the money is good in TV, if I continue with the medium I will end up being a non-actor. It was a conscious decision to pull out of TV."
His "A Wednesday", based on the July 2007 Mumbai train blasts, is set for a Sep 5 release. But the actor denies the movie is based on any real-life calamity.
"'A Wednesday' is a pure fiction film and an entertaining conventional thriller. It shows the vulnerability of a police officer. The movie is not a documented version of real-life incidents like 'Black Friday' or 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' that are also based on terrorism," he revealed.
His other release of the year is Sarthak Dasgupta's "The Great Indian Butterfly". He plays the lead opposite Sandhya Mridul and Koel Purie. The film has already travelled to various film festivals around the globe.