Alankrita Shrivastava to direct a film about Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch
Alankrita Shrivastava is set to direct a movie about Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was killed in Pakistan in 2016 (Image credit: Instagram, IANS)

Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava is set to direct a movie about Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was killed in Pakistan in 2016 at the age of 26.

Shrivastava and co-producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna have acquired the rights to ‘The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch’ by Sanam Maher, a book published by Aleph.

Alankrita Shrivastava says: “When Qandeel Baloch was killed in Pakistan in 2016, I was shocked. It was a heinous honor killing. I could not stop thinking about her. I started watching Qandeel’s videos repeatedly and was fascinated… She was so charming and full of life.”

“A poor girl from a small town, who worked her way up to being provocatively famous. She was only 26 years old when she was killed. And, ironically, only after her death has she been reclaimed as a feminist.” Alankrita Shrivastava added.

For producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna, backing this story is an opportunity to tell a unique story about female agency and systemic gender violence.

Says Sharma, “Qandeel’s story needs to be told by a sensitive filmmaker with a passion for women’s stories. Alankrita Shrivastava is just the filmmaker for it. And not just because she’s an award-winning feminist filmmaker, but because she has a lot of empathy for her characters. She tells her stories with candor and warmth.”

Co-producer Sunny Khanna, on the same page, added: “Qandeel Baloch’s story is important and relevant. Even today, women often remain at risk when they dare to express their individuality and challenge the status quo. I think the world needs to see stories like this. And I look forward to the journey of this film.”

Tulsea represents Alankrita Shrivastava and will package the film.

Shrivastava sums it up: “I see this film as an ode to the brave spirit of Qandeel Baloch. It will be a chronicle of his sensational and surprising rise to fame. I hope to reconstruct the memories of the rebellious, fun and vulnerable young woman whose life was cut short because she shone too brightly.

“The film will celebrate her courage and zest for life by telling her story without judgment, hopefully the way she would have liked to tell it.”

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