The trailer of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Manto, which is helmed by acclaimed actress-filmmaker Nandita Das, will release on digital platforms on Independence Day.
Manto, co-produced by HP Studios, Filmstoc and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, traces the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Nawazuddin will be seen bringing the character to life.
“Viacom18, one of our main producers and the ones leading the marketing and distribution for the film along with HP studios, decided to launch the trailer digitally. This was completely their idea,” Nandita told IANS.
The film follows the most tumultuous years in the life of iconoclastic writer Manto and those of the countries — India and Pakistan — which Manto inhabited and chronicled. The film stars Rasika Dugal as Manto’s wife and Tahir Raj Bhasin, Rishi Kapoor and Divya Dutta in key roles.
Talking about Manto, she said: “Manto stood for freedom of expression, both through his writings and the struggles he went through in his life. He challenged all forms of orthodoxy and despite six cases slapped on him, he believed in the power of the written word. That kind of conviction and the courage to follow it through is inspirational.”
How do you think the status of freedom of expression in India?
“I am an optimist. So, I believe that writers and artists will continue to express their truth through their work. We, as readers and audiences, need to support such people for our own sake, for a robust and mature society,” she said.