Iqbal Mohammed’s ‘The Pharmacist’ to premiere in Huddersfield
PLANS to transform a small corner of Huddersfield into Hollywood are underway – thanks to a Pharmacist with a passion for film.
The town will be treated to its very first film premiere later this month, and it’s all down to city pharmacist and film buff Iqbal Mohammed.
The 27-year-old is hoping to bring glitz and glamour to the West Yorkshire town with the premiere of ‘The Pharmacist’ – a short film he helped create as executive producer.
The 20-minute comedy follows a local neighbourhood pharmacist called Hal who is confronted by an in-store rival; a pharmaceutical vending machine.
While the machine promises to ‘take the pressure off’, it only complicates Hal’s work and the lives of his customers, proving Pharmacists are essential to healthcare.
Iqbal flew to America last year as the film was put together – and he admits he’s nervous and excited ahead of the film’s UK premiere at the Huddersfield Odeon Cinema on 26 February.
“I’m extremely nervous about how people will take to it which I guess is natural,” Iqbal told The Asian Today.
“This is the first time there’s been a premiere in Huddersfield, I’m feeling the pressure, but I’m also very excited. Saying that I believe in the film, I believe we have a quality product.”
Proceeds from the premiere will go to a number of charities including the NSPCC and The Variety Club children’s charity.
Iqbal got involved in the project when he contacted American writer Mike Cassidy after hearing he had written a short film called ‘The Pharmacist’.
“He was intrigued as to what I could do to improve it,” Iqbal said.
“The changes I made were well received and Mike desperately wanted me to Executive Produce the film. We most certainly had the same vision. Producer/Director, Paula Wood, had already assembled a crew, which was great and I was involved in the casting of the film via live Skype auditions.
“Being a pharmacist, this film was a perfect start to my film career as I could actually relate to the situation. My involvement was much more than writing, my expertise in the pharmacy field were a definite advantage to the film.”
Iqbal flew out to America during filming, gaining his first real taste of the fast-paced movie world.
And it seems the trip left Iqbal wanting more. Back in Huddersfield he scaled back his hours as a Pharmacist to part time giving him time to work on scripts for future films.
And he admits he was a bit apprehensive about telling his family of his new career choice.
“I was nervous about telling my mum,” Iqbal admits.
“When I came out with the news about me working part time as a Pharmacist and taking time out to become a screenwriter and make films, I expected a slipper flying my way but I was pleasantly surprised as to how supportive my mum was! She’s the best.”
With the Huddersfield premiere of ‘The Pharmacist’ not far away, Iqbal is already looking ahead.
There are already plans to submit the film to a number of film festivals across the world including the Beverly Hills, Austin and Seattle Film Festivals in America, and here in the UK at London’s Raindance Film Festival, Bristol Encounters and Leeds International Film Festival.
And looking further ahead Iqbal already has some projects in the pipeline.
“Mike and I have agreed to write a TV Pilot together later this year, which is very exciting. I have also written a short film that I plan to direct in New York come May. We are in the early stages of pre-production and things are looking very bright as I have Nathan Blair, cinematographer of ‘The Pharmacist’, on board. The film is a comedy following the lives of a teacher, doctor and a police officer.”
So is Iqbal ready to give up his life as a Pharmacist to pursue his Hollywood dream?
“I love being a pharmacist.” Iqbal says.
“I will always be grateful to the profession for what it has made me. At the moment, working four days a week suits me fine; it allows me to write on my days off.
“If a day came when I was offered to write, produce or direct a Hollywood film, then I would grab the opportunity with both hands!”
Watch this space; it may well be Hollywood Lights, Camera and Action for this Huddersfield Pharmacist sooner rather than later!
The UK Premiere of ‘The Pharmacist’ will take place at the Huddersfield Odeon Cinema on Sunday 26th February at 6.00pm. You can keep up to date on Iqbal’s film career through his Twitter page: @i_Q_Balls