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Interview: Kabir Khan: Kabul will always be special to me

Kabir Khan

Director and cinematographer Kabir Khan shares his travel inspirations…

Kabul will always remain special to me. I used to do a lot of trekking and mountaineering in my college days, and I always found the entire region of Central Asia, especially Afghanistan, fascinating. Kabul was where I shot a lot of documentaries during my formative years. It was also where my first feature film, Kabul Express, was set.

I don’t like using locations as just scenic backdrops. They are an integral part of my storytelling. For instance, Kabul Express could have been shot only in Kabul, and New York wouldn’t have made sense if it were shot anywhere else. I believe the entire mood of a scene is amplified by a well-selected location.

Family vacations are fun. My wife Mini and I are avid travellers, and my kids are great to travel with, too. We like mountain adventures – we even have a home in the mountains. We also love the beach – both Mini and I enjoy scuba diving, so we like exploring coral islands. Travelling with family ends up being a mix of different locations.

My favourite travel memory would be of the first time I went scuba diving. It was off a beautiful island in the Philippines. The beach was stunning, made up of six kilometres of white sand, and had some of the most spectacular coral islands in the region.