Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das' Manto, which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, will be screened at the Sydney Film Festival. The film will be screened on June 16-17 at the fest, which is held from June 6-17. Manto is a biographical historical period drama film about the writer who is known for his writings around the partition of India and Pakistan. It was the only Indian film in Un Certain Regard category at 71st Cannes Film Festival.
"After an overwhelming response at Cannes, I am very happy to be going to the Sydney Film Festival with Manto. The power of cinema is its ability to transcend countries and cultures," Nandita said.
"It is still the beginning of my Manto journey, so I am very curious to see how the audiences react in different parts of the world, before it finally releases in India later this year. While the context of the film is local, I feel the story will resonate universally. At the core, Manto is about troubled times and one man trying to make sense of it all. And Manto was relevant then and will continue to be relevant for a long time to come," she added.
Nandita will be taking her son to the fest.
"Going to Sydney will also be special for me as I am taking my son along, as he has his summer holidays. He has been on shoots, in the office, in my editing and song sessions, so why not for the festival screening,'' she said.
"As a working hands on mother, the juggling is is not easy but it is also a unique experience to share these moments with one's child. We both are looking forward to the Sydney experience,a said the actress-director, who had earlier helmed Firaaq.
Nawazuddin will not be going to the Afest as he is busy shooting for Thackeray.
The film also features Rasika Dugal and Tahir Raj Bhasin. It is co-produced by HP Studios, Filmstoc and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.
Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, said: "'Manto', the only film from the entire Indian subcontinent to make it as a selection at Cannes Film festival, had an impressive premiere at the Un Certain Regard. We are delighted that it now makes it way to Sydney Film Festival for screenings."
(With IANS Inputs)