Indian International filmmaker Rahat Kazmi’s film, ‘Lihaaf’, recently premiered as the closing film at 16th Indisches Film festival, Stuttgart 2019. The film, which is based on Ismat Chughtai’s most celebrated and most-controversial story, garnered a lot of appreciation from the audience present at the time of screening.
The director and his team could not mark their presence as they were shooting for their next film. However, the actress of the movie, Sonal Sehgal attended the festival on behalf of her team, along with the Oscar-winning producer of the movie, Marc Baschet and co-Editor and creative consultant of the film, Golda Sellam, who is also a renowned Film Expert of Europe. The 16th Indisches Filmfestival was held in Stuttgart (Germany) from July 17 to 21, 2019 and presented feature films, documentaries, children’s and animated films of all length and format, followed by an award Ceremony on July 21, 2019 for best feature, documentary, short film and so on.
Actress Sonal Sehgal who is also a co-writer in the movie says, “Lihaaf’ was supposed to premiere at Stuttgart as closing film but due to the heavy demand, the organisers screened it twice. Nonetheless, we received an amazing response from the audience.”
Meanwhile, ‘Lihaaf’ was also screened at Indo-German Filmweek which was held in Babylon (Berlin) from July 11 to 24, 2019. Started in February 2013 by Stephan Ottenbruch, the Indo-German Filmweek is held annually where Indian films of all languages are screened followed by workshops and discussions with the filmmakers and team.
Sonal added, “Usually, the audience watch the screening and leaves the hall whereas, in both Berlin and Stuttgart, we were amazed to see that Q&A round after our screening went on for more than 45 minutes. The audiences were just so overwhelmed. She was surprised to know that German students had read ‘Lihaaf’ as it was in their curriculum. They asked questions about the making of the film, women author writing such a bold story, on homosexuality and how the theme is more relevant in the present era than at the time, the story was written.”
No denying the fact, Lihaaf attracted German Press and made headlines in both the festivals. The film is co-written and directed by Rahat Kazmi and produced by Tariq Khan, Zeba Sajid, Namita Lal, Umesh Shukla, and Ashish Wagh and co-produced by Marc Baschet.