“Lihaaf: The Quilt”, a cinematic representation of Ismat Chughtai’s classic short story, was screened at the Virtual Canteen conducted by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum. The film features Sonal Sehgal and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
Sonal was present for a discussion after the screening and was joined by Advocate Malavika Rajkotia and Dr Megha Anwer (Clinical Asstant Professor of Purdue University) as the speakers of the session.
“Discussing censorship in art and cinema, the lawyers pointed out that how, even after 70 years of Independence, we are still fighting for the freedom of speech like the recent arrests of stand-up comedians and artists. Similarly, at that time, Ismat Chughtai was also penalised for writing about homosexuality, which was a criminal offence under British rule,” Sonal said.
Added filmmaker Rahat Kazmi: “Cinema, nevertheless, impacts society to a great extent and it’s a matter of pride when such an honourable and unbiased forum includes your film in their discussion.”
The film has been co-written by Kazmi and Sonal. It has been produced by Kazmi, Tariq Khan, Zeba Sajid, Namita Lal, Umesh Shukla and Ashish Wagh, while it has been co-produced by Oscar-winner Marc Baschet and Cedomir Kolar.
The film also stars Anushka Sen as younger Ismat and Namita Lal as Rabbo. Other prominent actors of the film are Mir Sarwar in the role of Nawab, Shoib Nikash Shah as Manto and veteran actor Virendra Saxena as famous Urdu writer M. Aslam.