Actor-filmmaker Nandita Das' directorial venture Manto, featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role as Sadat Hassan Manto, will be the opening film of the second edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SGSAIFF).
The festival, to be held from October 5 to 14 in Singapore, will also include the awards ceremony.
"We are delighted to screen 'Manto' as the opening film at SGSAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. But unlike the Europeans, we South Asians do not own this identity, despite many cultural and social similarities amongst the countries in the region. Therefore, it is important to support such festivals that celebrate cinema from the Subcontinent.
"Last year, SGSAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai as the opening film, which is yet to be released. I was unfortunately unable to make it. So, I very much look forward to attending it this year," Nandita said in a statement.
Manto was chosen for the prestigious Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2018 and features an impressive ensemble of actors including Rasika Duggal, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal.
"It's a great honour to open the second edition of SGSAIFF with one of the most important Indian films of this year, Manto. We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival," Abhayanand Singh, Chairperson of SGSAIFF, said.
The SGSAIFF 2018 lineup represents a diverse mix of feature films, short films and documentaries, which include movies from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.