A bus driver has created an award-winning feature film using little more than his mobile phone and with a ZERO budget.
Asif Raja created the Bollywood-style romantic thriller using his Samsung S8+ phone to shoot footage over a three-month period.
As well as writing and directing the 50-minute movie, he was also the leading man.
Asif, who drives First buses in Huddersfield and is a local radio presenter, said: “The film is a thriller with a touch of Bollywood-style romance and songs.
“There is an actor in the movie – Mehmood Sultan – who has done work in Pakistan cinema movies and lives in Bradford.
“I also used other local actors including Rafiq Butt, Abdul Shakoor, Khwaja Amjad, Tehmina, Kiran Khan and Fareed Butt.”
His movie is called Ehsaas (which in Urdu means ‘perceptiveness’) and was shot at locations including Outlane, Pole Moor and the Cow and Calf rocks, Ilkley.
Asif, who lives in Paddock and is a presenter at Asian music station Radio Sangam, said the film had been well received and had won two local magazine awards for Best Director and Best Actor.
“I am getting very good feedback,” he said.
“As a director and actor it has been a wonderful experience for me and I hope to take this further and do a bigger project in the near future.
“There are not many opportunities for artists so I hope to cast local actors, musicians, score artists and film editors for my next project.”
This isn’t the first time that Asif has been involved in acting and directing.
Last year he wrote, directed and acted in a stage play called Story of Every Home which was staged in Birkby outside Radio Sangam’s offices.
“In future projects I want to work with artists of any age, gender, from all communities and backgrounds to promote community cohesion.”
Asif said the full movie is due to be released in Pakistan and will eventually be available on DVD and later on YouTube.
He thanked local businesses for supporting the production.
“It took me two months of planning and was shot over eight days and was two months in post production.
“The project was supported by Aakash Restaurant in Cleckheaton, Gohar Superstores in Paddock and Henry Street Barbers, Huddersfield.
“The movie had a zero budget. Expenses that occurred were supported by local businesses and Radio Sangam helped me launch the trailer.”