Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 10, 2017)

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's brother Shamas Nawab's directorial debut, Miyan Kal Aana, which has already toured 23 countries in the last two years, is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival after it was screened at the same fest in 2015 for exhibitors.

The film is about the controversial Islamic practice of “triple talaq“ whereby a man can divorce his wife by simply uttering the words “talaq“ thrice. After the “talaq“, the woman has to marry another man but also have sex with him to be accepted by her husband again and reconcile with her in-laws. Shamas who has extensively researched the subject rampant in North India and his own village Budhana, is thrilled that the film produced by brother Nawaz, has finally been picked up for a worldwide digital release.

“When my film first screened for buyers and producers in Cannes, some executives from an American online streaming conglomerate were also in the audience. They liked the film but their offer wasn't great so I turned them down. For the Montreal screening I invited Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, who was at the festival for the premiere of his film Mohamad which had been banned in the Middle East. He was excited after listening to my story and made time for my screening. He loved the film and spoke about it at length to other distributors at the festival. It was a hit at the Palm Springs Festival too and after listening to all the praise, the online streaming conglomerate was back with a better offer,“

Shamas smiles proudly, adding that it will be launched on the streaming channel's new Short Film Section. Meanwhile, the National Women's Right Commission of India as well as many other NGOs back home are also interested in screening the film. “This practise has ruined the life of many rural women and I want to create awareness in the metros,“ he says.