Manoj Bajpayee, Zeeshan Ayyub’s ‘Zoram’ to premiere at 52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam

Manoj Bajpayee
Image source: TWITTER/@BAJPAYEEMANOJ A still from ‘Zoram’ starring Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee and Zeeshan Ayyub starrer survival thriller ‘Zoram’ is all set to have its world premiere in the Big Screen Competition section at the 52nd edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The film festival is to be held in the Netherlands from 26 January to 6 February.

As per the film’s logline, ‘Zoram’ tells the story of a grieving father who has to flee halfway across the country with his baby girl to escape the ghosts of his past and the forces that want him dead at any cost. The film, directed by Devashish Makhija, is the third collaboration between the director and Manoj Bajpayee after their short film ‘Tandav’ and 2020 feature ‘Bhonsle’, for which ‘The Family Man’ star won the National Award for Best Actor.

Talking about their creative partnership, Bajpayee said: “I have always taken great pride in my artistically perfect relationship with him.”

Set in Jharkhand and Mumbai, ‘Zoram’ is Makhija’s third film to be screened at the Rotterdam Festival after ‘Ajji’ and ‘Bhonsle’.

Recalling his experience, Bajpayee said: “It is an interesting story of a man torn between his past and present. I loved playing the intriguing Darsu, who looks like a simple man from the outside, Which people may not even notice.” But by no means is he a common man. A great story with such impressive characters!”

Makhija said the film bridges the gap between art cinema and the mainstream. He said that the lines dividing the two streams of filmmaking keep on changing rapidly. He added, “In its vision and its production, our film has sought to bridge the ever-changing gap between art cinema and the mainstream, hopefully pulling off the best of both.”

The film also stars Zeeshan Ayyub, Smita Tambe and Megha Mathur, and features guest appearances by Tannishtha Chatterjee and Rajshree Deshpande.

Talking about his role, Ayyub said: “I play Ratnakar, a city-born cop who is low on the social ladder and hence among his colleagues. A city himself – Being a person of ethnicity, this film for me, especially my first one – ever traveling to the jungles and iron ore mines to shoot it, made me realize how much ‘I’ was in Ratnakar – that my education and Access to middle-class anger was bleak, stark, and more of a luxury than ever—on-the-edge actually lived daily lives of the underprivileged.”

Presented by Zee Studios, ‘Zoram’ will release in India next year.

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