The United Nations’ Malala Day falls on July 12th and China Women’s Film Festival will be organising a screening of new film “Gul Makai”, which is based on the life of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. The screening will be at Eaton House, Jordan at 7pm. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Director Amjad Khan, Producer Sanjay Singla and Researcher & Writer Bhaswati Chakrabarty.

About the Film

Country: India
Language: Hindi/ English Subtitles Release Date: 2018 (India); 2019 (UK)

Genres: Biography | Drama | War

Fear is like an elastic band. You stretch the band inside of your mind and it keeps expanding, till one moment it snaps or you cut it for it to break. ‘Gul Makai’ is such a story, a story of courage that overcame fear and oppression. ‘Gul Makai’ accounts the courageous journey and struggle of Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, from her humble upbringing in the

Swat Valley to her becoming the champion for free education to all. ‘Gul Makai’ is a small tribute to this lion hearted girl who is in every essence a global citizen championing a cause that transcends boundaries, caste, religion and geography.

—Bhadresh D Pandav

‘Gul Makai’ is a story of courage that overcame fear and oppression. ‘Gul Makai’ accounts the courageous journey and struggle of Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai, from her humble upbringing in the Swat Valley to her becoming the champion for free education to all.

Director: Amjad Khan
Writing Credits: Bhaswati Chakrabarty
Stars: Divya Dutta, Atul Kulkarni, Reem Shaikh

On 9 October 2012, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was on the school bus home when she was shot in the head by the Taliban. She survived and went on to achieve amazing things for human rights around the world.

The Taliban had targeted her because she campaigned for the right of Pakistani girls to go to school, inthe face of their attempts to outlaw education for girls. In 2014, the UN officially named 12 July ‘Malala Day’. So, in celebration, here are nine amazing things she’s done for both women’s rights and thehuman right to education.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani school girl, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt addressedthousands at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York on her 16th birthday. “Let us pick up ourbooks and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One teacher, one book, one pen, can changethe world.” Malala shares that the extremists are frightened by the power of education and that “books and pens are our most powerful weapons.”

Worldwide, girls continue to be discriminated against based on cultural attitudes, child labor, conflict, and domestic labor. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) Education for All Global Monitoring Report, released a new policy paper that states: the number of children out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, 28 million children out of school live in the world’s conflict zones; more than half of those are women and girls.

Director Amjad Khan

Amjad Khan decided to make a film on Malala’s life and struggle in 2012, right after the assassination attempt on her by Taliban gunmen.He announced the film in late 2012. He collaborated with writer Bhaswati Chakrabarty, who spent the next 4 years researching and writing the script.

To cast the right girl for the role of Malala, several hundred actresses were auditioned. Finally, the director announced a newcomer for the role, 16-year old Bangladeshi student from Dhaka named Fatima Sheikh. Although no photographs showing Fatima Sheikh’s face
or other details about her were released to ensure her safety and security, her identity got leaked. Her family started receiving threats from religious extremists, who also threw stones at their house in Dhaka. Fatima Sheikh’s family decided to back out due to the pressure. The search for Malala continued and finally Indian television child actress Reem Shaikh was cast for the role of Malala. Veteran Bollywood actors like Om Puri, Divya Dutta, Mukesh Rishi and Arif Zakaria were cast in other important roles. According to the director, physical resemblance with the real life person was given special consideration while casting all of the characters.

The background score for the film has been composed by Amar Mohile, who has also done the background scores for Bollywood films like Dilwale and Shootout at Wadala. All the songs in the film except the title song have been written and composed by the director Amzad Khan himself. The title song has been written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty.


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