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Alankrita Shrivastava to direct film on Pakistani social media star

Alankrita Shrivastava will direct a film on the life of South Asian social media star Qandeel Baloch.Premium
Alankrita Shrivastava will direct a film on the life of South Asian social media star Qandeel Baloch.

  • For long, feature films have been churned out from popular books. Anurag Kashyap’s crime docudrama Black Friday and Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s romantic drama 2 States, stand out as examples. Web series are an extension of the trend, especially considering that there is huge demand for content

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NEW DELHI: Director Alankrita Shrivastava, known for Lipstick Under My Burkha, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, and Bombay Begums, will direct a film on the life of South Asian social media star Qandeel Baloch. Shrivastava and co-producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna, have acquired the rights to The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch by Sanam Maher, a book published by Aleph.

Baloch was a Pakistani model, actress, social media celebrity and activist who rose to prominence due to her videos on social networks discussing her daily routine, her rights as a Pakistani woman, and various controversial issues. She was strangled to death in 2016.

Several streaming services are turning to books for inspiration, following in the footsteps of feature filmmakers. Film production house Abundantia Entertainment has bought the rights of author Ashwin Sanghi’s historical science-fiction thriller Keepers of the Kalachakra to adapt into a multi-season web series. Earlier, producer Sheetal Talwar had announced that he had bought the rights to Shashi Tharoor’s book Why I Am a Hindu. American streaming site Netflix has already adapted sports drama Selection Day, spy thriller The Bard of Blood, dystopian novel Leila and Salman Rushdie’s classic Midnight’s Children, after its success with Vikram Chandra’s crime thriller Sacred Games. SonyLIV has also seen much traction for its crime drama Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story that was based on The Scam.

Earlier, a producer could easily plagiarize a western film and adapt it for the local audience. But with the world having shrunk, thanks to digital media, the next best option is to buy books and adapt them, media experts point out. For long, feature films have been churned out from popular books. Anurag Kashyap’s crime docudrama Black Friday and Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s romantic drama 2 States, stand out as examples. Web series are an extension of the trend, especially considering that there is a sudden demand for a lot more content in the digital space. Plus, a lot of these books are already successful, so there is a proven target audience for the concept, which may overlap on the web.

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