It’s going to be another feather in the illustrious cap of Salim Bahwan. The popular Omani actor-cum-director will do a prominent role in a soon-to-be shot Malayalam movie. In the process, he will become the first Arab actor to star in an Indian film.
Salim will play the role of Kamal Yousuf in Uppappa (Grandfather), directed by award-winning director, TA Razak. The movie will be shot in Calicut in Kerala and Dubai.
A self-confessed fan of Bollywood and Indian language movies, Salim considers the invitation to associate with Uppappa as a high point in his career.
“It is a dream come true for me as I always draw inspiration from Indian films. It is a challenging role. I am sure the film will create ripples all over the world. Malayalam has produced renowned artistes like Mammootty and Mohan Lal. I had worked with technicians from Mollywood during the filming of my movies,” Salim said.
The film narrates the mental agonies of Ibrahim, who marries off his daughter, Nasriya, to an Arab merchant, Kamal Yousuf. Yousuf goes back to Dubai after his father falls ill. He cannot comeback to Calicut owing to family pressure. He divorces pregnant Nasriya. The story develops through the life of Nasriya’s son.
Veteran Malayalam actor Siddique plays Ibrahim, while Salim dons the role of Kamal Yousuf. Nuzarath Jahan is the heroine.
The movie marks a milestone for TA Razak too. A veteran who entered film industry in 1991, he will be penning 50th screenplay for Uppappa. He had won four Kerala state film awards for best story and screenplays.
Razzak said he is happy to cast an Arab artist for the first time in an Indian movie. “I thank Salim Bahwan for accepting the challenging role.”
Nuzarath Jahan, who shot to fame with her role in The Written, a short film that depicted the life of Reyhaneh Jabbari who was executed in Iran for murdering a police man who tried to molest her, said she is thrilled to act in a movie with an Arab star.
“I am so indebted to Razak for giving me the lead role. It is a huge challenge and I hope to live up to his expectation. I hope the movie will help me get good roles in Arab movies,” she said.
The director hopes to screen the movie in international film festivals before its commercial release.