New Delhi: Nawazuddin Siddiqui's "Manto", which is helmed by actress-filmmaker Nandita Das, will open the second edition of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (Sg.SAIFF).
"We are delighted to screen 'Manto' as the opening film at Sg.SAIFF. 'Manto' was very much a South Asian writer," Nandita said in a statement.
"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 sub-continent.
"Last year, Sg.SAIFF screened a film I acted in, 'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon 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," she added.
The fest will be held in Singapore from October 5-14.
"Manto", co-produced by HP Studios, Filmstoc and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, traces the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Nawazuddin will be seen bringing the character to life.
The film follows the most tumultuous years in the life of the iconoclastic writer Manto and those of the countries -- India and Pakistan -- which Manto inhabited and chronicled. The film stars Rasika Dugal as Manto's wife and Tahir Raj Bhasin, Rishi Kapoor and Divya Dutta in key roles.
Abhayanand Singh, Chairperson of Sg.SAIFF, also said: "We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival."
The fest line-up represents a diverse mix of feature films, short films and documentaries, which include films from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.