Percept Picture Company (PPC) recently held a press conference for their widely acclaimed film FIRAAQ. Present were the actor turned director, Nandita Das, eminent actor Naseeruddin Shah, who plays an important role in the film and Mr. Navin Shah, CEO Percept Picture Company.
The film is about how different relationships unfold a month after a communal carnage, over a period of 24 hours. There is hardly any violence in the film and as Nandita says, ''Often films that critique violence are full of it themselves. Instead the story traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people - some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. It is a mirror to our own prejudices, fears, anger and at the same time our collective desire for peace and hope.''
The amazing cast of FIRAAQ, apart from Naseeruddin Shah, includes Paresh Rawal, Dipti Naval, Raghubir Yadav, Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Shahana Goswami and Nowaz, among others. Nandita Das, the sensitive and acclaimed actor has turned director with this film and believes that FIRAAQ should be seen by all those who care about the world in which we inhabit because violence is going to spare nobody, if we don't address it now.
Mr. Navin Shah CEO, Percept Picture Company adds, ''Every character of the movie is inspired by a motive which would make the people realize the voices of their inner self. FIRAAQ has already won five international awards, critical acclaims at various film festivals. This recognition has boosted our enthusiasm further and we are sure that it would set a benchmark at the Indian box office' CHECK OUT: NANDITA DAS Interview
The film has already gained a lot of critical acclaim, audience appreciation and accolades on the festival circuit. FIRAAQ has travelled to film festivals in Telluride (USA), Toronto, Pusan, London, Thessaloniki (Greece), Singapore, Dubai and then in India it was shown at the Kolkata Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Kerala. Where ever it was in competition, FIRAAQ won at least one award. Although at the Asian Festival of The 1st Films, FIRAAQ left with 3 big awards, for 'Best Film', 'Best Screenplay' and the distinguished critic's award called the 'Purple Orchid' for the best film. It also won the 'The Best Editor' award at the Dubai Film Festival that went to Sreekar Prasad, and a 'Special Prize' at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, in Greece, conferred by the Minister of Culture. It was in the competition section in Kerala, where it won the 'Special Jury Award' at the International Kerela Film Festival. They showcased the various awards won at National and International film festivals.
Nandita Das says, ''I am glad FIRAAQ has found a resonance among audiences around the world, from Toronto, London, Pusan to Kolkata and Trivandrum. Human emotions are universal and I see that with the kind of feedback I have got in different parts of the world. Across the board people have been able to empathize with the journeys of the characters. And more so in India, where the film is most relatable and the nuances most understood. Many have said, ''The film gave a voice to so much that remains silent'' and that, ''this film once seen, feels necessary''. While it has been great to win awards at every competitive festival we entered the film in, but truly, the audience reaction has been the high point of the journey so far. When FIRAAQ releases all over Indian end of Feb, I hope it continues to touch the hearts and minds of all those who watch it. This film belongs to anyone who is troubled by violence and wants to be part of the solution. When I look back and think what compelled me to make this film, it is best said in Bertolt Brecht words, ''Will there be singing in the dark times? Yes, there will be singing, of the dark times.''
- view FIRAAQ movie stills