Apart from scouting talent for the Hindi film industry, Seher Aly Latif had also worked on several international projects.
“She was one of the most gentle, rare, loving people, who was also very terrific at her work,” that’s how actor Nimrat Kaur recalls casting director Seher Aly Latif, who passed away in Mumbai on Monday. “Seher would champion rare talent, and was so ahead of her time. What she did with casting 10 years ago, is what people are doing now,” says Kaur of Latif, who had picked the latter for the role of Ila Sehgal in The Lunchbox (2013). Latif was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai about a week ago after a cardiac arrest, and passed away on Monday owing to renal failure.
Besides The Lunchbox, her casting credits include 2020 films Shakuntala Devi and Maska. Apart from scouting talent for the Hindi film industry, she had also worked on several international projects. International show McMafia (2018) credits Latif for ‘Indian Casting’ for five of its episodes. Her other notable projects include Sense 8 (2017, 20 episodes), Fast and the Furious (2017) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
“I knew her from my modelling days, and we both sort of hailed from the same city. She was from Noida, where my parents also stay. We were confidantes and friends. For The Lunchbox, she made the director of the film (Ritesh Batra) come and watch a couple of my plays. She was the voice in his ear when he was looking for a fresh face for the film. Seher was instrumental in making that happen for me. I owe a big part of my working life to her in that way,” adds Nimrat Kaur, “I was supposed to move to a place close to her’s. We were quite excited to be neighbours. She is gone too young and too soon.”
Recently, Seher Aly Latif had also turned producer with Manisha Koirala-starrer Maska, which streamed on Netflix. The other project she helmed as a producer was Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, a show that had actor Swara Bhasker and American actor of Indian origin Ravi Patel in the lead roles.
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was cast for McMafia by Latif, took to Twitter to mourn her demise. “Really sad to hear the demise of an outstanding Casting Director & a really amazing friend. Working with her was always fun. Rest in Peace #seherlatif @smwhtlatelatif,” he wrote on the microblogging site.
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