Gul Makai

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Gul Makai
Movie Poster of Gul Makai.jpg
Directed byH.E. Amjad khan
Written byBhaswati Chakrabarty
Screenplay byBhaswati Chakrabarty
Produced bySanjay Singhla
Preeti Vijay Jaju
StarringReem Shaikh
Atul Kulkarni
Divya Dutta
Om Puri
Arif Zakaria
CinematographyMadhu Rao
Javed Ethesham
Edited byPraveen Angre
Music byAmar Mohile
Tekno Films
Distributed byPen India Limited
Release date
  • 31 January 2020 (2020-01-31)
Running time
130 minutes[1]

Gul Makai is a 2020 Indian biographical dramadirected by H.E. Amjad Khan [2] and written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty, Produced under the banner of Tekno Films and Pen Studios. The film was shot in Hindi and Urdu. The film is based on the life of a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai.[3] Debutante Reem Shaikh played role of Malala.[4] The film also features the late Om Puri in his final acting role, Divya Dutta, Atul Kulkarni, Mukesh Rishi and Pankaj Tripathi. The film was released on 31 January 2020.[5]


Gul Makai accounts the courageous journey and struggle of 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, starting from her humble upbringing in the Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan to her becoming the champion for free education to all women. When Swat Valley was seized by Taliban gunmen in 2009, Malala spoke out for the rights of girls, especially the right to receive a complete education. She started blogging on the BBC Urdu website under the pseudonym Gul Makai, against the oppression faced by them in the Swat Valley. As she continued her activism, gaining worldwide recognition and support, she was hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization's violent opposition to girls' education.



H.E. Amjad Khan, who is a Permanent Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, also Goodwill Ambassador IIMSAM-UN-ECOSOC, decided to make a film on Malala's life and struggle in 2012, right after the assassination attempt on her by Taliban gunmen.[6] He announced the film in late 2012. Then writer Bhaswati Chakrabarty, spent the next 4 years researching and writing the script.[7]

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.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

The film went into production in late 2016. The first schedule of the film was filmed at locations in Bhuj (Gujarat) and Mumbai.[12] The 2nd schedule of the film which was to be shot in Kashmir was deferred due to the strained circumstances there.[13] As the conditions got back to normal in Kashmir, the shoot resumed in January 2018 amidst tight security in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir.[14][15][16] The shooting wrapped up by end of January 2018[17] and the film has been in post-production since then. The film has been edited by the National Award-winning editor, Praveen Angre. The film has gone through extensive VFX work to re-create Swat Valley landscape and war scenes between the Taliban and Pakistani Army.


Gul Makai
Soundtrack album by
H.E. Amjad Khan
Released23 January 2020
GenreFilmi Soundtrack
LabelTekno Music
ProducerSanjay Singla
Preeti Vijay Jaju
External audio
audio icon Gul Makai on iTunes

The background score for the film has been composed by Amar Mohile. The title song was written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty and the remaining songs were written and composed by H.E. Amjad Khan.

1."Maula Mere"Kailash Kher7:22
2."Gudda Guddi"Azmat Hussain5:23
3."Haq Maula"H.E. Amjad Khan, Piyush Mishra7:19
Total length:20:04


  1. ^ "Gul Makai (2019)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  2. ^ "United Nations organises special screening of Malala Yousafzai biopic". Mumbai Mirror. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Malala Yousafzai biopic 'Gul Makai' being shot in Kashmir - Times of India". The Times of India.
  4. ^ "TV actress Reem to play Malala Yousafzai in Amjad Khan's GUL MAKAI". Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Malala Yousafzai's biopic 'Gul Makai' to release on January 31". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  6. ^ "'Radio Mullah' sent hit squad after Malala Yousafzai | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Director Amjad Khan And Producer Sanjay Singla On Gul Makai, Biopic On". Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Bangladeshi student Fatima Sheikh to play the role of Pakistani". The Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Amjad Khan ropes in Bangladeshi girl to play Malala Yousufzai". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  10. ^ "TV Child Actor Reem Sheikh to Play Malala Yousafzai in 'Gul Makai'". The Quint. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Gul Makai's First Poster Has Reem Shaikh Bearing A Strong Resemblance With Malala Yousafzai". 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Shooting of 'Gul Makai'- biopic on Malala resumes in September". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  13. ^ "The filming of Malala Yousafzai's biopic to resume from September". 8 August 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  14. ^ Malala Yousafzai's Biopic 'Gul Makai' Being Shot in Ganderbal, J&K | The Quint, 19 January 2018, retrieved 1 July 2018
  15. ^ 'Gul Makai': A biopic film on the life of Pakistani activist and Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai, 16 January 2018, retrieved 1 July 2018
  16. ^ "Bollywood recreates Malala's Swat valley at Sindh valley near Sonamarg - The Sunday Guardian Live". The Sunday Guardian Live. 13 January 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Poster of Malala Yousafzai's biopic 'Gul Makai' unveiled | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

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