Sarwat Gilani is known for her charismatic and joyful persona. Sarwat with her attractive looks and beauty has earned a tremendous fan base. The young glamorous actress has impressed many with her perplexing screen vicinity and amazing acting aptitudes.
Extremely humble and modest in nature, discussing her most recent endeavor, Baat Cheet, we realize Sarwat is no longer a part of the little screen, she has expanded over to short films.
Baat Cheet is a short film written, produced and directed by the talented Rayika Choudri. It will be screened at the 68th Cannes Film Festival this year from May 13 to 24. Rayika stars Sarwat Gillani and Joshindar Chaggar as the female leads while Hammad Hasan Askari, Wusatullah Khan and Fahad Mirza will be seen acting alongside them.
Baat Cheet has won gold honors in Indonesia for the best Documentary & Short International Movie of 2015. Let’s see how Sarwat shares her experience of Baat Cheet as we interview her.
You are mostly portrayed as a shy, introverted and sober girl in your roles on TV. Should we expect the same type of Sarwat in Baat Cheet?
In Baat Cheet she’s’ not very shy. Basically she is shown having a conversation with a friend and is pretty much like a normal next door girl. The film is focusing more on regular day to day issues that a common man would easily relate to. My role in Baat Cheet is a bit opinionated. Adding more, it is a wrong perception that I am given shy and introverted roles, I was derived to convince my in laws in drama serial “Matiai Jaan”, in “Ishq Gumshuda” I was again very opinionated.
How were you approached for the short film Baat Cheet?
Actually Rayika is a very old family friend. I know her since I was a child. Earlier she was in London studying script writing, as soon as she was back she was focused and spot on. In casual family talks we used to discuss and admire Rayika’s skills and talent. She saw my work on her arrival and it was like she saw the type of character she was looking for in me. Rayika required good acting skills as there were many scenes in her film that was based on actions and reactions instead of dialogues. She believed in me and considered me perfect for it. She thought I was mature enough for the role and so she approached me, told me the story. It was very interesting and I was in love with her in no time. This is how it all happened.
As far as I know, you are very choosy and picky about the roles you accept, what is your role in Baat Cheet? How would you describe your role briefly?
Being particular, my role is about a friend having a conversation with another friend, this is from where the story starts with the buildup. My role in the film is pretty much defined, I believe every working girl or woman can relate to it. Having issues while giving job interviews and other difficulties a girl faces. In Baat Cheet I am shown as a graphic designer, also by profession I am a graphic designer so it was easy for me to relate to it. My role in the film was of a girl who wanted to speak her heart out to her friend but she said something that ended up in a misconception and my friend got hurt by my words, then later I apologize and the story moves on. In Baat Cheet you can see me as a sensitive girl but also up front and outspoken. I can be seen keeps things in control and a girl who knew what she was looking for in life.
How was your experience working with Team Baat Cheet?
I had a wonderful team to work with, it was a pleasant experience working with the crew. The DOP was my junior in IVS (Indus Valley School). I knew Rayika through family. I knew many people there which made things very comfortable. Rayika knew everything, she was focused on her work, and it was all very systematic with no unnecessary delays. A lot of time was given to acting and understanding the script. We had done a few rehearsals so it was all very good. I must say it was all very organized.
You have a vast experience with acting and taking different roles, was acting for Baat Cheet challenging?
It was undoubtedly challenging but that was the idea. Less dialogues and more acting. It was very different than dramas where we are flooded with dialogues to justify our role and character here we had to do it all by our acting skills. I believe acting is not acting, it is the reaction we give to any given situation. I really enjoyed taking up this challenge. It was fun. I feel you don’t need to physically touch someone to tell them that u love them or care, you don’t have to say it verbally either, it should be evident from the eyes, from the expressions from the reactions you give to the other persons actions. Baat Cheet was my cup of tea. In near future I believe I need to experiment more. I need to work more with expressions and acting. There is no age of learning, we learn all our life.
Baat Cheet has already been honored with a couple of gold awards but how do you feel your short film being screened at the 68th Cannes Film Festival?
The annual festival in France. I feel proud obviously, it is an honor for me to represent Pakistan on an international forum. It is a great opportunity for me and other directors or producers. It is evidence that if we work hard and produce quality work it will receive appreciation globally. As an actor, I have got the mileage but a new comer like Rayika making a short film and getting so much mileage is fantastic. It is a beautiful feeling overall.
The 10 minute film had 5 characters. In a short film you have very less time compared to drama serial’s to convince your audience and justify your role properly? How did you manage it?
It all depends on the impact we create with our acting, I believe everyone in the cast was a powerful actor, they all knew how to register their roles prominently. Everyone was given the script beforehand obviously and everyone was well prepared. The team leader was focused, it was a collective effort. We kept things short and to the point, without any hazy confusion. Even if we had a small scene that had less screen time to it we all gave our 2000 percent to convince the audience that this is real stuff we are talking about. I got the most screen time compared to others. I felt what I did because I did it with my heart and soul. I tried my best to make it look real. Our team had real artists. No one had issues with screen time and all. Everyone was content. We were all focusing on creativity and quality.
What is the genre of Baat Cheet?
It is a serious genre. Baat Cheet has a realistic feel to it. A very relatable sort of a topic where one friend is telling the other one ” yaar koi baat nahi, socho mere saath is se bhi bura huwa”, not much of drama or comedy or romance. It is different, I would suggest everyone to watch it, I’m sure you all will like it.
How does it feel to be a celebrity representing your Country and its art globally? Do you have a message to deliver? What are your sentiments when your fans look at you and approach you?
You know short films in Pakistan don’t really get the credit and platform that they should. All around the world festivals happen to give young actors, producers and directors a platform and motivation to work and produce creative master pieces. They are all appreciated internationally but here in Pakistan it is not easy to register yourself and get the platform you deserve. We should encourage such film festivals in Pakistan, amongst students of film making from institutions like KU (Karachi University) Szabist, IVS, KSA, NAPA, ICMS. Art related schools should give platform to the young ones. This is the way to filter out real talent. This way we will get real film makers who will produce amazing work. Students should not go abroad to execute ideas in fact they should get their platform here only. We need to encourage this sort of film making environment in Pakistan. There are so many topics that can be worked on. If young students are allowed to work freely with a platform, they can do a marvelous job bringing pride to Pakistan. For fans I’ll just say nothing is impossible, no matter where you come from, if you are honest and sincere you can reach anywhere, any part of the world. You all should learn always from everyone and never believe u know everything. Every one is a teacher, be open to learning without being rigid, this is the way I became what I am. I still learn, I cannot say NOW I KNOW everything, not even today. Even if you get an award or you don’t, if your work is good all be appreciated everywhere. Thanks a lot for always loving me and supporting me but think and work on yourself, you are all gems.