Copyright: Adill Khan
You can never extend your horizon far enough. The desire for the diversity of knowledge is as endless as the waters of the oceans. Experiencing the random chain of causality, I get in touch with the documentary filmmaker and photographer Adill Khan. Immediately I fell in love with his pictures on Instagram, because they are so interesting and inspiring. They exude colors of our world with a great significance. His work made me curious, so I asked him to tell us more about himself and his work.
Are you born in Norway?
Yes, I was born in Oslo, Norway on December 4th, 1991.
Can you tell us something about Pakistan in a few sentences, for example what you specifically like about it?
Even though I was born and raised here in Norway, something always had me relate to Pakistan. Especially the diverse culture. Practically speaking, Pakistani culture is a beautiful blend of the Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, Baluchi, Barohi, Seraiki and Kashmiri culture, all these people with their common traits recognize themselves as Pakistanis. This is admirable and mainstream at the same time, but the brotherhood and the interaction amongst them should be praised. And the innocence of the women is highly fascinating.
But most important are its crucial democratic and religious importance in the world and its strategic significance against terrorism. A country capable enough to be the strongest nation is not only brutally destroyed by internal disputes, but also internationally.
Are you mostly shooting pics documentaries?
Yes, most of the time. But sometimes there are barriers that you gotta jump over, and in order to jump one over must find the appropriate position. Haha! Too philosophical? Let me elaborate that: As soon as I clutch an opportunity that’s interesting for me, I sometimes have to wait to get funded, sometimes you are lucky, but sometimes it takes weeks of time. Honestly, I just can’t wait for things to work out for me. I just can’t waste any day. And any day that I don’t get to work feels like a day wasted. So in order to make my day I do other things, like meaningful and ethical photographs to demonstrate how beautiful this world and its people are.
I teach in a high school and also I work in a youth house, where I get to meet teenagers from different races, religions and nations. I help them find the jobs of their interest and we correspond in a lot of ways.
Is it your main work or hobby?
It is my hobby and main work at the same time. Let me put it up to you the way I think: If something is your hobby, but not your main work, then you’re not passionate enough to deserve that talent. If it’s only your main work, but not your hobby, I am sorry to say, then you haven’t found yourself yet. Therefore, it is both my passion and my main work. I mean I do things other than this, but that’s just side work.
How and when did you decide to do films?
Well, shooting documentaries has always been my passion, or at least since I remember. I knew what I wanted to do and gave moral and meaning to it. In many ways I saw the media being biased and portrayed everything against one race, nation, community. Even when the truth was immensely and thoroughly visible. I knew I must work with purpose to bring up the truth to the height of sharing it with the world. Our youth have to see both sides of the stories, no matter what the subject is. I started shooting in 2013, as my first official project, the project that gave me the strength I needed to lit up the fire of my passion, I was in the second last year of my bachelor’s degree in journalism at that time.
How long does it usually take to shoot a film?
That tremendously depends on the delicacy of the project and its requirement and necessity. The first project on the subject matter „beggar mafia“ took 12 months of shooting in Pakistan and additional two months on editing and inscription of subtitles. And the documentary that I am currently working on, has already taken over a year and yet it needs more time.
Are you shooting the film on your own or what a team?
I shoot on my own if the subject matter is my personal work. That is when I am not filming for a channel or with directors and producers who have a share. But if I do, then I usually have a team, a jury of discussion, an assistant, language translators etc etc.
Did you study something specific or did you enter as a career changer?
As I previously mentioned, it was always something that appealed me in a way that it excites me to the extreme of getting goose pumps every single time.
Right after high school, I knew what I needed to seek knowledge in, and needed expertise and skillfulness in.
Are you working on specific or different topics?
Well for now, I am working on a documentary about an extreme Islamist named Ubaydullah Hussain.
Arslan Ubaydullah Maroof Hussain (born 1985) is an Islamist from Oslo, Norway, who was the former spokesperson for the group Profetens Ummah. Born into a family of Pakistani origin in Bjerke, Oslo, Hussain was an active ice hockey and football player with Hasle-Løren IL prior to his involvement with Pretense Ummah. I followed him throughout a year, traveled with him to London, England and Copenhagen, Denmark in order to learn about his perspective on the interpretation and implementation of the Quran in his life and how he looks at the attack in Denmark and people he himself calls „Muslims“ and the rest of the world calls „terrorist“.
What do you think are the benefits of your work for you? Is it an enrichment of your life?
I don’t know what exactly the benefits are, but every time I finish up a documentary or a project, it gives me all the satisfaction I need for continuing doing what I do. And most important to see your most beloved ones wearing the crown of pride on your name tag. It’s just too spectacularly phenomenal; I swear it’s a one in a million kind of feeling. And isn’t that all we need? The self-esteem, the self-satisfaction and the appreciation from our beloved ones? It is profoundly and indeed an enrichment of my life.
What could you recommend to your followers on their way to life and work?
If anything, then I would tell them that it is never too late to chase your dreams so, run, run now, and run straight towards your craze and obsession, and don’t stop running until you learn to fly and then never stop flying. It’s not okay to be just part of someone else`s story but it’s also important to turn your life into a story that others are part of.
You’ve tried to make a film about a norwegian islamist, who rettende from prison in Pakistan after two years. The police took your memory sticks away. Could you tell us about this situation in a few sentences? Could you finish this documentary film in the end? If yes, could you send the link?
It is the same project that I am currently working on. A documentary about an extreme Islamist named Ubaydullah Hussain. It is still in process, but will be aired soon inshallah!
Well the memory sticks were taken by the police, because I had a court session of Ubaydullah Hussain recorded, which was illegitimate. Even though it was my right not to pass the memory stick, being caught in that moment I couldn’t deny the recordings, I handed them out the memory sticks. To my detriment, the police eradicated the memory sticks.
However, my project is still very well built, vigorous and rigid enough to have an intersting meaning.
Thank You Adill 🙂
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