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|Directed by||H.E. Amjad khan|
|Produced by||Sanjay Singhla|
Preeti Vijay Jaju
Dhaval Jayantilal Gada
Aksshay Jayantilal Gada
|Screenplay by||Bhaswati Chakrabarty|
|Music by||Amjad Khan (Songs)|
Amar Mohile (Background Score)
|Edited by||Praveen Angre|
|Distributed by||Pen India Limited|
Gul Makai is a 2020 Indian biographical drama, directed by H.E. Amjad Khan (Goodwill Ambassador IIMSAM-UN-ECOSOC ) and researched n written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty. The film is based on the life and struggle of a Pakistani teenager, girl-education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. Popular Indian television child actress Reem Shaikh makes her film debut, playing the lead role of Malala. The film also features the late Om Puri (in his final film), Divya Dutta, Atul Kulkarni, Mukesh Rishi and Pankaj Tripathi. The film was released on 31st January 2020.
Produced under the banner of Tekno Films and Pen Studios, and presented by Dr. Jayantilal Gada, Gul Makai is the first Malala Yousafzai biopic to be made. Changemaker Priya Ramesh Samant is the impact advisor to this film.
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 and Sharia law was imposed upon its people, 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.
- Reem Shaikh as Malala Yousafzai
- Atul Kulkarni as Ziauddin Yousafzai
- Divya Dutta as Toor Pekai Yousafzai
- Om Puri as General Kayani
- Arif Zakaria as Sufi Mohammed
- Mukesh Rishi as Maulana Fazlullah
- Abhimanyu Singh as Hakimullah Mehsud
- Pankaj Tripathi as Beitullah Mehsud
- Sharib Hashmi as Ataullah Khan
- Kamlesh Gill as the Grandmother
H.E. Amjad Khan, who is a Permanent Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, decided to make a film on Malala's life and struggle in 2012, right after the assassination attempt on her by Taliban gunmen. He announced the film in late 2012. Then writer Bhaswati Chakrabarty, spent the next 4 years researching and writing the script.
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. 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. 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.
The film went into production in late 2016. The first schedule of the film was filmed at locations in Bhuj (Gujarat) and Mumbai. The 2nd schedule of the film which was to be shot in Kashmir was deferred due to the strained circumstances there. As the conditions got back to normal in Kashmir, the shoot resumed in January 2018 amidst tight security in Ganderbal district of Kashmir. The shooting wrapped up by end of January 2018 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.
The background score for the film has been composed by Amar Mohile, who has also done the background scores for Bollywood films like Dilwale and Shootout at Wadala. All the songs in the film except the title song have been written and composed by the director H.E. Amjad Khan himself. The title song has been written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty.
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