IN CONVERSATION WITH SABIHA SUMAR
In keeping with the celebration of 70 years of Indian Independence and the birth of Pakistan, LAFF’s closing event is symbolic of the mindset of two courageous women who aim to promote understanding of two countries with a long history of enmity and question whether peace is attainable for future generations.
Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar, joins us to discuss the important issues that inspired the making of her feature-length documentary, Azmaish: Trials of Life. LAFF audiences will also be treated to an exclusive first look teaser, giving a taster of what to expect from this extraordinary crowdfunded venture.
Alongside Kalki Koechlin, Sabiha travels through India and Pakistan, to explore the current state of religious extremism and question why people are turning to violence. Overwhelmed by violence in its war on terror, Pakistan’s current climate is distressing and neighbouring country India faces secular identity issues with rising Hindutva groups. The two women look at how religion plays a part in the livelihood of both countries but also acknowledges how religious extremism is paving a fearful atmosphere which questions what the future holds for both nations.
The history of the two countries has been documented invariably-highlighting their well-known negative relationship and controversies, but very few films show the two countries together, under the same spotlight, in a positive union. Sabiha and Kalki meet ordinary people on their plight to find answers and truly understand the pulse beneath their countries.
This documentary is extremely relevant in the times of great tension between the two countries, especially with recent issues within the film industry itself, with Pakistani artists being banned from working in India.
Expect an insightful and sensational discussion with two extremely influential and meritorious females in South Asian cinema today, who are actively facing issues and attempting to make a difference through the power of film.
About Sabiha Sumar
Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar has a track record of her work being exhibited at film festivals worldwide, including titles such as Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) in 2003. She is well-known for her independent films and documentaries that focus on socio-political issues as well as religion in society. Titles such as For a Place Under the Heavens (2003) and Who Will Cast the First Stone (1988) showcase her passion for female-centric stories.
About Kalki Koechlin
French-Indian actress, Kalki Koechlin has made her mark on Indian cinema through her both her roles in popular Hindi cinema and her daring roles within independent cinema. Kalki has appeared in Bollywood titles, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani( 2013) but has also featured in independent titles, including Margarita with a Straw (2014) which secured her with a National Film Award and featured at several film festivals including LAFF in 2015.
Anchor – Shrabani Basu
Shrabani was born in Calcutta and grew up in Dhaka, Kathmandu and Delhi. she is correspondent of the Calcutta-based newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph. Over her long career she has done exclusive interviews with many eminent people including Benazir Bhutto, Sheikh Hasina, Salman Rushdie, Nirad C Chaudhuri and Viv Richards.
She has always combined her journalism with her love of history and all her books have evolved from her observations about the shared histories of India and Britain.
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