Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manto
Nandita Das was set to take her ambitious Sadat Hasan Manto biopic to the Cannes Film Festival next month, however, a delay at the editing table seems to have led to a change in plan. Das had piqued curiosity around her project ever since leading man Nawazuddin Siddiqui‘s appearance in the get up of the Urdu writer did the rounds of social media. But, with the final edit still in the works, the film may miss festival circuits next month.
A source tells mid-day, “There is less than a month to go for the [Cannes] festival, and the film’s final draft is still not ready. The makers have to finish some patchwork. Nandita doesn’t want to produce a half-baked film. It has to be of a certain calibre if she must take it to the festivals.” Nandita Das, the source tells us, is working hard to make Manto a “lucid watch”. A screening for the writer’s daughters ahead of a theatrical release is also apparently on the cards. “The film will now apply for a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. A commercial release is scheduled for later this year.”
Having attended the Cannes festival last year alongside Siddiqui and cast member Rasika Duggal — who plays Manto’s wife Safiya — Das had unveiled the first poster of the film at the event. The venture will explore the writer’s life from 1946 to 1950, a crucial period, given that India attained Independence, but also suffered under the weight of the Partition during the time. We reached out to Das, but she remained unavailable for comment.