Bollywood filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, known for helming ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, is set to make a movie about late Pakistani social media sensation Qandeel Baloch.
According to a statement, Shrivastava and co-producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna have acquired the rights to the book ‘The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch’ by Sanam Maher.
Baloch was a controversial social media star and activist who was strangled to death by her brother in July 2016.
“When Qandeel Baloch was murdered in Pakistan in 2016, I was shaken up. It was a heinous honour killing,” Shrivastava said in a statement. “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, who worked her way up to being provocatively famous. She was just 26 when she was killed.”
Producer Vikas Sharma added: “Qandeel’s story needs to be told by a sensitive filmmaker who is passionate about women’s stories. Alankrita is just the filmmaker for it. And not just because she is an award-winning feminist filmmaker, but because she has so much empathy for her characters. She tells their stories with candour and warmth.”
Shrivastava has gained fame for her progressive movies and TV shows that are often women-centric — think ‘Made in Heaven’, ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ and ‘Bombay Begums’.
In an interview with Reuters in 2017, the director explained her passion for telling the stories of women.
“Women are 50 per cent of the population; we have a particular way of seeing things, but it is the male perspective that has dominated for so long in popular culture,” Shrivastava said. “This perspective has led to discrimination against women, violence against women. Our popular culture justifies this perspective, and makes stalking seem like love, makes harassment and abuse of women okay.”
Details about the casting and the release date have not been announced yet.