02nd Jan2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Faisal Saif talks ‘Islamic Exorcist’

by Philip Rogers

Islamic Exorcist is a new horror from writer and director Faisal Saif, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Friday 19th January. I got chance to ask Faisal a few questions about how much of the film is based on real events, what makes Islamic Exorcist different from the exorcism films we are used to watching and why the film and why certain scenes from the original script were not filmed.


What can we expect from Islamic Exorcist?

I never made this film with any expectations and I do not want viewers to keep any expectations before watching Islamic Exorcist. I made this film with one very clear intention: that I wanted to tell a story about one of my good friend, who was going through a trouble in his life which he couldn’t explain. I saw it, experienced it and I wanted the world to experience it.

The film itself is based on a true story, how much of the original events have you incorporated into the film?

I have tried to retain 90% of actually that took place in my friend’s life. And have taken some 10% of my own liberties to make a clear explanation.

What makes Islamic Exorcist different to the exorcism films we are used to watching?

Let me make very clear that Islamic Exorcist is not about CGI, VFX or flying ghosts etc. I request the people to not to watch the film keeping these facts in mind. Islamic Exorcist is more about creeps and chills. The film is more on the note of emotional horror. There can be only two things after you watch any film. Either you hate that film, or you love it. Islamic Exorcist, you hate, or you love, I promise the film will not go away from your mind for many days. For whatever reason, but the film will be staying with you, for sure.

Were there any elements of your original scripts which you were unable to include in the final film?

There were two elements that were not incorporated in the movie; First one was the naked woman who roams in the whole house at night and another one being a dead body removed from the grave and religious scripture being written on it by the people who performs black magic. I, as a film maker thought these two events were very heavy on the whole film according to the draft of the screenplay.

Why was a decision made to release the film dubbed and not subtitled?

My distributors told me that international viewers (especially USA, UK and Canada) gets irritated watching a subtitled movie. That is why I decided to dub Islamic Exorcist in English.

What was your favourite scene in the movie?

My favourite scene in the movie is the finale. And thankfully the finale and the performance of my lead actress Kavita Radheshyam was mostly appreciated and applauded by the critics.

Is it true you have received death threats from Islamic Extremists not to release the film?

They weren’t extremists. They are brothers from Pakistan and working maybe in an solicitors firm in London (UK). I am not sure if they still work there or if they ever worked there. They were trying to extort money from us in the name of some copyright breach which never existed. Later their friends started giving me life threats. [One of the brothers] also approached my actress and spoke obscenity with her. We have lodged a Police Complaint against them here in India and we have also approached higher authorities in England, sadly no action is taken on them yet.

Do you have any other projects which you are working on at the moment?

I am presently working on a film called Cannibal which is inspired by a true story. I plan to film Cannibal in summer of 2018.

What advice would you give to someone looking to direct their first film?

I just want to say to all the upcoming film maker, always be focussed and always trust your confidence and things will follow automatically in your favour. This is the magic which will never fail you. It hasn’t failed me to date.

Islamic Exorcist will be playing at the Horror-on-Sea Festival on Friday 19th January at 10:00am

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets for the Horror-on-Sea please see the website for details: https://www.horror-on-sea.com


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