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Junaid Imam Shaikh

This is Junaid Imam, Creative writer & director from Pune India. I started my career in 2006. After working for more than 13 years as a writer and director for Television series, I started creating independent short festival films and documentaries. I have directed and won awards for some of my films at the international film festivals in Barcelona (Spain), Albania (Europe), USA & West Africa. Currently i am official Jury member at the American Youth Film Festival 2019. Prior to this, I was associated with Berlin Cinefest Film Festival, Germany as Official Jury member. 
What does the city of Mumbai mean to you? What indications did you give to the cinematographers Jayesh Choudhary and Ajay Mali for filming in the streets of the city?
“ Kash” has shot at Mumbai & Pune, Both cities are completely different geographically. When I have written the script I was looking at Mumbai City local train and stations because most of the addicted people buy drugs from these areas. For drama building, Pune has a large slum area. So both cities have their importance. Jayesh Chaudhry and Ajay Mali are very experienced cinematographers. I have narrated to them my script and visualisation. Both have worked hard for the film and beautifully design the shots for the film.


How was the choice of Shafique Shaikh as the main actor? What qualities would you highlight about him?

Shafique Shaikh is a very senior theatre artist and a very hard-working actor. When I was writing the script I needed an actor who can play realistic acting. Shafique Shaikh really worked hard for the character. I met many actors in this film but Shafique was different and the best.
Saahil Hussain’s editing is sometimes very risky and always very successful, did you give him total freedom when editing the short film?
Sahil Hussain is a very experienced editor and working in Bollywood last 18 years. I am associated with last many years and my quality projects have been done by him. so I have narrated the script to him and we mutually work on the editing craft.
How was the writing of the film, did you leave room for possible improvisations by Shafique Shaikh?
From my childhood, writing stories and poetry is an enjoyable process for me. But writing a story on social issues is very different and difficult because you have to know actual research and brief information. I have worked on it and took a real story from research and explain it to actor Shafique. My screenplay was brief and clear so every one clear about the film.
The film is a deep and sincere plea against drug addiction, what does the role of Asha Kale, the mother of the protagonist in the film, represent for you?
Asha Kale played a very important role in this film. when I was researching drug addiction, I have seen how the family face problem and hard times. Asha Kale is a very senior actress, as per my script she has justified the role.


Many extras and passers-by appear in Kash, but the sequence in which dozens of children humiliate Shafiq Shaikh stands out. How was the planning and filming?

Drug addicted man is considered a joker and entertainer by the local public. People make jokes on him. Children humiliating Shafique is a very important scene who says drugs addicted men have no value in society. I have arranged the children around the slum and trained them for acting. My dop smartly covered it.
How is independent film production and distribution in Mumbai?
 I am very thankful to Ashraf Khan who is the producer of this film & he supported & encourage me for this film. Independent film production is a very risky business in Bollywood, especially when you are making socially oriented short films. Very very few people really want to work on social change and they fund and produced it. I was lucky to get a producer for it. Film production and distribution are monetary-based processes. social film has a big market in film festivals but in the commercial market, it is very challenging.

What current Indian film directors do you admire or recommend?

I really like the work of Sanjay Lila Bhansali, Ajay Singh, and ss raja Muli. All these directors are very artistic.
What are your future film projects?
Currently I am associated with 21st-century Unicorn, & Native Communication India. Currently, I am working on a film project and narrating the story to the artist. Mir Sarwar is a very good artist. Meanwhile, I have directed an international short documentary USA. Also, few projects are under production.
Why have you chosen this film for filmmaking?
As a filmmaker, I always search for unique story ideas that I can make it very artistic and entertaining. my last few projects have been awarded in many international film festivals. Kash short film was a challenging project for me but my all team members supported me to make it perfect and entertaining.