×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: Meghna Gulzar’s ‘Guilty’ Centers on Real-Life Crime

Helmer Meghna Gulzar’s “Talvar” (Guilty) premieres in Toronto Film Festival’s Special Presentations on Sept. 14. The daughter of Oscar-winning songwriter Gulzar and actress Raakhee, Meghna Gulzar started as a journo and segued into documentary filmmaking before entering Bollywood with 2002’s “Filhaal.”

With “Guilty,” she’s taken a real-life story, centering around a 2000s serial killing case involving missing kids, child porn and abuse and police incompetence that caused a sensation in India in the past few years. “It’s a story that needs to be known,” she said via email.

“The decision to make a film on the case happened quite spontaneously during discussions with Vishal (Bhardwaj, screenwriter) on my next film. Having taken time out to raise my son, we would often talk about what film I should make next, now that my son was almost 5 now. When this case came up, I jumped at it immediately because I had been following it, like the rest of the nation, since it first broke. The intention to make a film about it came about two years ago. In spite of multiple investigations, unanswered questions remain. Even after a trial and verdict, a sense of closure is lacking. That’s what drew me to this subject. It is a fictional dramatization of true events around the Noida double-murder case.”

Discussing her choices in making this movie, Gulzar said she drew on her documentary background. “I think somewhere subconsciously, that did come into play — during the research, the detailing, and most importantly, in maintaining an objectivity, and a certain aesthetic sense during filming. The crime is violent and I was sure I didn’t want my film to be voyeuristic or sensationalistic.”

Gulzar credited her collaborator Bhardwaj, known in the Mumbai film scene for his movies based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (“Haider”), “Macbeth” (“Maqbool”) and “Othello” (“Omkara”). “He transformed mounds of research into a powerful script and gave me his complete faith and freedom as a director. An extremely supportive producer, along with Junglee Pictures — which is so crucial to a film like this.”

He also composed the soundtrack for “Guilty,” which is not a typical Bollywood movie with song-and-dance routines.

“The subject and content of ‘Talvar’ does not lend itself to having its characters break into song,” Gulzar said. “There are songs in ‘Talvar,’ but used in the background. ‘Filhaal,’ as a film, lent itself to songs and music. It is kind of organic to treat a film according to its subject, like the choice of subject was also a spontaneous one. No meticulous planning as such.”

Gulzar is pleased her film is getting a TIFF premiere. IM Global is repping the film’s sales.

“ ‘Talvar’ is a story that I and everyone in the film believe, must be known. For it to premiere at TIFF is a wonderful opportunity as it raises the film to a platform of higher visibility. We submitted the film for consideration and were thrilled when we got selected!”

More Film

  • Breaking Glass Takes U.S. on Female

    Breaking Glass Takes U.S. on Mexican Female Empowerment Pic 'Tatoo of Revenge' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Philadelphia-based indie distributor Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to Mexican director Julian Hernandez’s female empowerment thriller “Tattoo of Revenge” in a deal closed with Italy-based company The Open Reel at the Cannes film market. “Tatoo” is the latest feature by the prolific Hernandez who is known on the festival circuit for films [...]

  • Thierry Fremaux Cannes

    Thierry Fremaux Says 'Cannes Will Always Side With Artists' at Alain Delon's Tribute

    Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, delivered a heartfelt homage to Alain Delon at a ceremony on Sunday during which the French actor received the honorary Palme d’Or. Alluding to the controversy that Delon has triggered with his past declarations, Fremaux said the actor was entitled to have his own convictions [...]

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt's '7500' Sells to Amazon

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Thriller '7500' Sells to Amazon Studios

    Amazon Studios has acquired global rights to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s terrorist drama “7500.” The deal, announced Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, excludes Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Universum will distribute the film in Germany. In “7500,” Gordon-Levitt plays the co-pilot of a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists. The title references the code 7500, which [...]

  • Cannes: China's Rediance Boards Sales on

    Cannes: China's Rediance Picks Up Sales on 'Ways to Run' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chinese indie sales and production finance outfit Rediance has boarded sales on “Ways to Run,” a project in the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation La Residence section. The film picked up a special mention at the prize presentation. The road movie drama is being directed by Afghan-Dutch director Aboozar Amin, who previously made the documentary “Kabul: [...]

  • John Williams Pens Theme for Disneyland's

    John Williams in Disneyland: The Story Behind His 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' Theme

    For only the second time in more than four decades of “Star Wars” music, legendary composer John Williams has written a new theme for a “Star Wars” project that is distinct from his film scores for those galaxies far, far away. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the much-anticipated attraction that will open at Disneyland on May [...]

  • Young Ahmed

    Cannes Film Review: 'Young Ahmed'

    There’s a darkness to “Young Ahmed” that audiences have never seen before in the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the gifted Belgian brothers whose profoundly humane, unapologetically realist dramas have twice earned them the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Like surrogate parents to troubled children, the sibling directors have taken on their share of difficult [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content