'Parzania' releasing Jan 26
Rahul Dholakia's critically acclaimed "Parzania", depicting the suffering of a Parsi couple - played by Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika - who lose their son in Gujarat's communal clashes, is set for all-India release Jan 26.
Premiered at the International Film Festival Of India 2005, the film was cleared by the Censor Board with a few minor cuts. But it has not been able to reach wider audience as distributors shied away, thanks to a potentially controversial theme coupled with its lack of commercial appeal.
The film, meanwhile, went to win laurels as it was screened also at the Pusan International Film Festival, Bangkok International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival and International Film Festival of Kerala.
Based on a real-life incident, the film is set against the backdrop of the 2002 communal violence that killed at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, in the state.
Allan Webbings (Corin Nemec), a cynical but intelligent American, arrives in Ahmedabad for his doctorate research on Mahatma Gandhi, and becomes a witness to the horrors that religious differences create.
Here he meets Cyrus (Naseeruddin) who lives with his wife Shernaz (Sarika) and two children - Parzan (Parzan Dastur) and Dilshad.
Parzan is an imaginative 10-year-old who has created his own world - which he calls Parzania - that only he and his sister understand.
Through Cyrus's family, Allan finds his peace. But it's shattered when a bomb explodes in a train killing several Hindus.
Explosion leads to sectarian strife and within 24 hours, hundreds of Muslims are slaughtered. And in the midst of the terror and violence, Parzan goes missing.
While Cyrus fights for his own sanity and hunts for his son, Allan battles to uncover the truth behind the riots.