Rahat Kazmi’s film Lihaaf is all set to showcase at 5 significant film festivals of the world namely International Film Festival of Kerala, India Week Hamburg, International Queer Film Festival Playa (Mexico), 25th Kolkata International Film Festival and Gangneung International Film Festival (South Korea).
Rahat Kazmi is literally going places with his range and quality of work. The director, who was recently in news for staging a dialogue with Oscar awardee and producer Marc Baschet on their Indo-France co-production Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf at the Cannes Film Festival, is a proud man now. The film is now selected to be officially screened at five major film festivals being held in Hamburg, Korea, Mexico, Kolkata and Kerala.
The story of Lihaaf revolves around the most controversial and celebrated story of legendary Indian writer Ismat Chugtai, which deal with issues of homosexuality, women’s sexuality and sex as a taboo in Indian society. Tannistha Chatterjee plays the iconic role of Ismat Chughtai. She is the only Indian actress to have been ever nominated for BAFTA. Meanwhile, Sonal Sehgal plays Begum Jaan, who has acted in many films and is known for her performance in Nagesh Kuknoor’s acclaimed Aashayein.
Singapore based actress and producer Namita Lal will be seen playing Rabbo in the film, and her company Nutzaboutme Cinema are also producers of the film.
The film has been co-written by Rahat Kazmi and Sonal Sehgal. The producers are Rahat Kazmi, Tariq Khan, Zeba Sajid, Namita Lal (Singapore), Umesh Shukla, Utpal Acharya and Ashish Wagh. It is co-produced by Oscar winning producer Marc Baschet (known for Oscar winning No Man’s Land and Lunch Box and Golda Sellam of Cinelink France is a consultant on this project.
Shoib Nikash Shah plays the role of Manto. Shoib has done many films including Million Dollar Nomad and Mantostaan. Veteran bollywood actor Virendra Saxena will be seen in an important role in the film, too.
Marc said, “I first heard the story of Lihaaf (The Quilt) when I met Namita in the film bazaar in Goa in November last year. I was struck by the theme of the story and decided to follow the development of the film as a mentor. Golda, who also heard the narration from Namita in Goa, was happy to be a consultant to this team. Apart from the story, I was also very impressed with this young team of professional film makers who bring such sensitive, delicate stories to life on the big screen.”
The producers plan to announce the release date the film soon. The film will take you behind the curtain, play in the shadows of same-sex desire, and will lift the veil off the longings of the women in Muslim households.