Ahmad Razvi has been described as the Pakistani American Johnny Depp. Arriving in the states from Lahore, Pakistan as a young child Razvi is a very rare breed of actor that will never work on any project unless he is passionate about it heart and soul. After 911, Razvi co-founded the Council of Pakistan Organization COPO, the first ever NGO in the United States with the help of his father. His organization has already taught tens of thousands of Pakistani immigrants basic computer skills and offers pro bono legal services. He decided to start the council after his restaurant was vandalized in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2001. The restaurant he says, is the venue where he met and made friends with director, Ramin Bahrani, who wrote a script tailor-made for Razvi rapidly catapulting him into stardom in the Independent film world for his critically acclaimed leading role in his first movie ‘Man Push Cart’. 2007’s ‘Cart’ was Razvi’s first acting role, the story focusing on a Pakistani rock star who sells coffee and dvd’s from his push cart to make ends meet, I met Razvi for the first time at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2007, where he was nominated for best lead actor competing against Edward Norton and Aaron Eckhart among others. Razvi was overwhelmed when
he was nominated for numerous other awards including the London Film Festival and the Seattle Film Festival. At the Marrakesh Film Festival he rubbed shoulders with movie icons such as Daniel Day Lewis and John Malkovich. Razvi stresses the importance of his culture and identity and doesn’t really appreciate the Hollywood attitude of ‘fame and fortune at all costs’. Even though he says his dream date is actress Heather Graham. Ramin went on to direct Razvi in another Independent gem, ‘Chop Shop’. Razvi is adamant that he will not be type cast into ‘terrorist roles’, like many of his contemporaries from similar ethnic backgrounds. Ironically he will play a man who is mistaken for a terrorist in his upcoming feature film ‘Rendered’. Razvi’s icon is the late Nasret Fateh Ali Khan. Razvi thinks of him as the ‘Michael Jackson of the East’, and a close family friend who would stay
with him and his parents when visiting the States. It’s very refreshing to see an actor and entrepreneur who stays very true to his roots. Let us hope we see a lot more of him in the coming years.
Alejandro, a tough and ambitious Latino street orphan on the verge of adolescence, lives and works in an auto-body repair shop in a sprawling junkyard on the outskirts of Queens, New York. In this chaotic world of adults, young Alejandro struggles to make a better life for himself and his 16-year-old sister, Isamar.
Director: Ramin Bahrani