Known for works like Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016) and Dolly, Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare (2019), Alankrita Shrivastava has been known to gravitate towards works that focus on female agency and systemic gender-based discrimination. So it comes as little surprise that the filmmaker has decided to bring the story of late Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch to the big screen.
Shrivastava has announced that she, along with producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna, will be making a biopic on the life of the model who was murdered by her brother in 2016.
Sharma and Khanna have acquired the rights to the book The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch by Pakistani journalist Sanam Maher. In case you didn’t know Qandeel Baloch, or Fouzia Azeem, was a model, actress, social media celebrity, and an activist who regularly caused controversies because of her videos where she spoke about the rights of Pakistani women. It were her supposedly incendiary views that caused her brother to strangle her to death.
“When Qandeel Baloch was murdered in Pakistan in 2016, I was shaken up. It was a heinous honour killing. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I started watching Qandeel’s videos repeatedly, and I was fascinated. She was so charming and full of life. A poor girl from a small village worked her way up to being provocatively famous. She was just 26 when she was killed. And ironically, it’s only after her death that she has been reclaimed as a feminist,” said Shrivastava in a statement. The director also added that the movie will be an ode to her courageous spirit, “It will chronicle her sensational and astonishing rise to fame. I hope to piece together the memories of the rebellious, funny and vulnerable young girl, whose life was cut short because she shimmered too bright. The film will celebrate her spunk and lust for life by telling her story without judgment, hopefully the way she would have liked to tell it.”
The cast and other details of this Untitled biopic are yet to be revealed.