Omar Rahim isn’t a name new to literary circles in Pakistan. Known primarily as an actor and choreographer, Omar has now stepped into the multi-faceted role of writer, director and producer of his first short film, Agency. The film, which revolves around a gay couple looking for a surrogate, reflects on the evolving family dynamic of South Asian contemporary couples, which no longer fall within the conventional bracket.
Agency premiered in Mumbai at the Kashish Film Festival, earlier this year, and will hit the festival circuit in Chicago and Washington DC this weekend.
Two men, Karthik and Saif, ask their best friend Anjali to step in as surrogate so they can complete their family, and what ensues – from her response to the twist in the tale – forms the core of this quirky story.
“I like to think of making work that reacts to the time we’re living in,” Omar spoke exclusively to Something Haute from New York. “I think I have a heightened curiosity about the world around me. Living in New York I noticed that there were a lot of cross cultural couples, especially Indian and Pakistani, and then non-heterosexual couples grappling with family structures. It was all within my close world here. Blended families are considered close to normal but I hadn’t seen anything like this with Pakistani characters before,” he reflected upon the dynamic of the story.
Other than the LGBT+ and surrogacy angle, Agency– which one got the privilege of watching – is just as much about a young, new generation that doesn’t quite follow the conventional path but then, as time passes, questions whether they succeeded or failed.
Omar is best known as an actor and choreographer; how is it that dance and music didn’t figure in the first film that he has written, directed and produced?
“The space is a space I know well,” he replied. Agency has been filmed in his NY apartment, as is evident in the artwork and rilli cushions in the setting. “It’s super subtle but the way the bodies are composed in the frames does reflect on my background in choreography. Maybe it’s in my imagination but I feel it does play in.”
You can watch the trailer here: