'Manto', 'Mehsampur' to be screened at Sydney film festival

'Manto', 'Mehsampur' to be screened at Sydney film festival

Nandita Das' "Manto", which had its world premiere recently at Cannes, and Kabir Chowdhry-directed "Mehsampur" will be screened at the Sydney film festival.

"Manto", starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the role of acclaimed writer, had a much-buzzed premiere at Cannes Un Certain Regard sidebar. Her film focus on four most creative yet tumultuous years of the writer's life, who chronicled the brutal side of the India-Pakistan Partition in 1947.

"After an overwhelming response at Cannes, very happy to be going to the Sydney Film Festival with 'Manto'. The power of cinema is its ability to transcend countries and cultures. 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 makes sense of it all," Das said in a statement.

"Mehsampur" is about a filmmaker trying to make a documentary about the assassination of Punjabi folk-singers Chamkila and Amarjot, who were gunned down in 1988.

Calling the film a "wild and daring hybrid film", the festival's website said the film blends fiction and reality while investigating the infamous murders of the singers, whose bawdy songs about village life and Punjabi culture found both keen admirers and vicious detractors.


Reema Sengupta's short film "Counterfeit Kunkoo" is also a part of the screening. The short film revolves around a woman who, as a single woman, finds it hard to rent a house in Mumbai.

The festival, which began today, will run till June 17.