The maker of an ambitious English-language action series shot in Dubai and set to debut online later this month, is looking for support to complete his passion project.
Ilez Badurgov says he has shot the pilot for Inevitable Fight, but is pitching for financial assistance to help him finish the show's seven-episode story arc.
The actor, who lives in Dubai, says he has put in more than $25,000 of his own money to get the project off the ground. He plays the lead in the series, and is also the writer and director.
"I've approached Netflix and other channels, but have not heard from them yet," he tells The National. "It's really a passion project, something I've wanted to make for a long time and we need help to complete all seven episodes."
Inevitable Fight follows a former military man, Mars, who yearns for a quiet life, but whose shadowy past comes back to haunt him. He is then drawn into a world of illegal fights and tries to escape from it. The series is about his attempts to live a reformed life.
Filming began six months ago with a cast made up of mostly unpaid actors, says Badurgov. The second episode of the series is currently in production.
“We shoot the illegal fight scenes next week and have booked the location. Right now, we have what we need for the shoots, but we still have limits. This is why we need a sponsor so the show can be of the highest quality,” he says.
Originally from Kazakhstan, Badurgov has played small roles in a number of big-budget films shot in the UAE, including Jackie Chan film Vanguard, which was extensively shot in Dubai. He is also a part of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's new film Pathan, as well as in a yet-untitled South Indian film starring Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu. Both films were also shot in Dubai.
Emma Brain, a presenter, model and actress who lives in Dubai, also plays a role in the series. She says she took on the project after she saw Badurgov's dedication.
“It’s really hard to get actors to do unpaid or low-paid projects here," she says. "But when I heard the story behind this show and saw how passionate he was, I wanted to get involved. He’s gone out and bought all the equipment himself. He’s the producer, writer, director and actor.
“When you come across someone that’s so passionate, sometimes you just have to get involved. It’s part of the community and it’s helping each other out. Also it’s such a fun project to be part of.”
Brain, who plays the leading character's landlady with her own dodgy backstory, says she would love to see her character develop, and the series completed. Projects such as Inevitable Fight deserve all the support they can get, she says.
“Lots of independent filmmakers all doing it off their own backs. There needs to be more support for the independent artist. There are very few English series produced here. There’s a lot of Arabic and Hindi content, and we’ve had so many Hollywood movies shot here, but with regards to a series, not so much.”
Badurgov, who has directed music videos and short films in the past, says he’s determined to get the series completed “somehow”.
“It’s a creative project that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time," he says. "Even if I don’t get the support I am confident I will still finish it.”
The first episode of Inevitable Fight will be broadcast on YouTube on Thursday, April 29