Cannes Open Doors for ‘Mantostaan’

London/Cannes, May 9 2016: With ‘Mantostaan’ all set to premiere at the Le Marche du Film category of the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival on May 14, 2016, is gaining roaring support. The film is based on legendary Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s hard-hitting and compelling stories.

Mantostaan is based on a total of four stories weaved together as one over the backdrop of partition has earned tremendous support with its selection at the Cannes festival. The film has already kicked off to a great start as it has also started getting mails from Hollywood distributors about interest in acquiring for different territories. British actress Canelle Hoppe is all praise for the film and especially flying down from London to watch it. Directed by the award winning Indian filmmaker Rahat Kazmi, the film has also received a letter of appreciation from Manto’s daughter and also wants the film to be showcased in Pakistan where she lives.

“I am very excited with the opportunity presented by Cannes. It is a huge encouragement and support for us independent filmmakers as it opens doors for a diverse market. I hope the stories of partition will touch a universal chord at Cannes Film Festival,” says Rahat Kazmi.

Mantostaan is a dark satire based on the trauma the partition brought in its wake, and some of Manto’s best pieces revolve around what he saw during those horrific months. The film brings to celluloid four most controversial stories based on India Pakistan partition, ‘Khol Do’, ‘Thanda Gosht’, ‘Aakhri Salute’ and ‘Assignment’. The stories of Mantostaan should be seen in the light of generation degeneration of human values in the time of riots and communal tension.

Sonal Sehgal, Raghubir Yadav, Shoib Nikash Shah, Virendra Saxena, Tariq Khan, Raina Bassnet, Sakshi Bhatt, Zahid Qureshi and Rahat Kazmi himself have played key characters in the film. Mantostaan is shot in Punjab and Jammu, the northern part of India, finds a pride of place at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival which starts on May 11 coinciding with Manto’s birthday that falls on the same day. The official screening of the film is on May 14.

With phenomenal support that the film is gaining including the invitations from Toronto and San Francisco Film Festivals, Rahat is all set to take Manto on a world tour.

Rahat Kazmi films, Tariq Khan Productions, Aaditya Pratap Singh Entertainment in Association with Javid Banday, Mediamark International Corp. Canada and Co-Produced by Zeba Sajid.


In the riots, which preceded the partition in the Punjab Province, between 200,000 and 2,000,000 people were killed in the retributive genocide between the religions, estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition; it was the largest mass migration in human history.

Saadat Hasan Manto with his family was among the millions of Muslims who left India for Pakistan during partition, chronicled the chaos that prevailed, during and after the Partition of India in 1947. During his lifetime, Manto had to his credit, 22 short story collections, a novel, five series of radio plays, three essay collections, two personal sketch collections; works that are revered now. During his time, the same works had him tried for obscenity six times; incidentally thrice in British-India before 1947, and thrice after independence in 1947 in Pakistan. Fortunately, Manto was never convicted. On his 50thdeath anniversary, acknowledgement finally came his way. Manto was deservingly commemorated on a Pakistani postage stamp.

Manto was heartbroken and shaken by the trauma the partition brought in its wake, and some of his best pieces revolve around what he saw during those horrific months. The stories of ‘Mantostaan’ are about the single-minded dedication with which men killed men, the remorse felt by some and the tears shed by murderers.

About Marché du Film:

The Marché du Film is a global film industry hub at the Festival de Cannes where industry professionals debut and discover over 5,000 films and projects in 37 screening rooms. The festival will run from 11 to 20 May 2016.

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