FARAR – Applause Entertainment and Zindagi’s first collaboration premieres at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2023
Director Mehreen Jabbar & lead actor Sarwat Gilani to attend the world premiere of the web series
A riveting story of human emotions, FARAR is set for its world premiere at the 14th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) as the ‘Marquee Web Series’ of the festival. The first collaboration under the landmark partnership of Applause Entertainment and Zindagi, FARAR’s global premiere is a strong reinforcement of bridging cross-cultural gaps and creating universally- relatable South Asian content for the diaspora.
Two episodes from the show, based on the themes of friendship, freedom, and hope, will be screened on Saturday, September 23rd, as part of the four-day festival program. The premiere will be attended by producers Shailja Kejriwal (Juror at International Emmy Awards 2023) and Umnia Iftikhar, director Mehreen Jabbar (Pakistan’s Oscar Selection Committee), and lead actor Sarwat Gilani (JOYLAND, CHURAILS). The six-episode series, also produced by Sameer Nair and Deepak Segal features Mariam Saleem & Maha Hasan and is set in the sprawling city of Karachi, Pakistan.
Expressing her excitement, lead actor Sarwat Gilani says, “As an actor, being part of FARAR has been an incredible journey of exploration and dedication. This show is not just a story for us; it’s a piece of our souls, a representation of the rich emotions that connect us as humans. As FARAR gets ready for its premiere at CSAFF, my heart is brimming with happiness. This compelling storyline, delicately weaving the tapestry of female friendships and triumphing over obstacles, is now set to captivate and resonate with audiences worldwide.’’
Recognized as one of the most prolific directors from Pakistan, director Mehreen Jabbar adds, “I am thrilled to have our series premiere in Chicago. This vibrant city not only has a thriving South Asian diaspora but also houses a festival that has consistently championed diverse genres and formats. In a time marked by divisions and jingoism, it is truly heartwarming to see the convergence of two of the world’s largest South Asian nations, uniting in celebration of the art of storytelling.”
Reflecting on this significant milestone, Chief Creative Officer (Special Projects) Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Shailja Kejriwal says, “Personally, nothing gives me greater joy than seeing content from our subcontinent reach a world stage. FARAR’s premiere at CSAFF is extra special as it is our first collaboration with Applause Entertainment. The potential for South Asian content is unmatched, and we are so thrilled to have such an amazing partner and such brilliant teams on board this journey with us”.
Producer Umnia Iftikhar adds: “Bringing FARAR to the Chicago South Asian Film Festival is a moment of immense pride and gratitude for our entire team. This show is a labor of love, a convergence of passion and storytelling. As we premiere here amidst the world, we hope FARAR resonates with the universal emotions that bind us all. The power of storytelling lies in its ability to bridge cultures and ignite conversations, and we are thrilled to share our narrative with this wonderful audience.”
Presented by Applause Entertainment, a Zindagi original FARAR tells the story of three independent women who are navigating the complexities of modern life. The series highlights the universal human experiences of friendship, love, and personal growth, while simultaneously tackling issues such as societal pressures, identity, taboos, and body shaming.
Earlier this week, in a groundbreaking move, Applause Entertainment and Zindagi announced their strategic partnership to energize investment in South Asian content creation that connects with today’s diverse global audience.
About Applause Entertainment
Applause Entertainment is a leading Content & IP Creation Studio with a focus on premium drama series, movies, documentaries, and animation content. A venture of the Aditya Birla Group, led by media veteran Sameer Nair, the studio has produced and released popular series across genres and languages which includes shows like Rudra: The Edge of Darkness, Criminal Justice, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Scam 2003: The Telgi Story, Undekhi, Kafas, and others that have gone on to win acclaim and applause. Applause’s feature film Zwigato, directed by Nandita Das and starring Kapil Sharma released in cinemas worldwide to tremendous critical acclaim. The first Tamil cinema ‘Por Thozhil’ struck gold at the Box Office with rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The Rapist, directed by Aparna Sen, recently won the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the Busan International Film Festival. Applause has partnered with leading platforms like Netflix, Disney+Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV, MX Player, ZEE5, and Voot Select for its creative output.
Zindagi, a flagship channel launched in 2014, owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, introduced India to captivating and thought-provoking stories from across the border. With a focus on exploring the human experience through compelling narratives, Zindagi has gained acclaim for its diverse range of shows like Humsafar, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Aunn Zara to originally created shows such as Churails, Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam, Dhoop ki Deewar and so on that transcend borders and languages.
In the last 9 years, Zindagi has traveled its journey from television to OTT (launched in 2020 on ZEE5) and recently returned to television as a DTH value-added service provider. Last year, Zindagi took home over 10 awards for their original shows, including Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam, which was titled the National winner of ‘Best Anthology Award’ at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2022 as well as ‘Best Programme Title Sequence’ at the Promax India Awards 2022. Another original show Dhoop Ki Deewar won ‘Best Key Art’ and ‘Best Use of Social Media’ in Marketing at various Awards and so on. Zindagi continues to be at the forefront of storytelling innovation, fostering cross-cultural understanding and forging memorable connections between audiences and the South Asian stories it brings to life.
*Gilani, Jabbar, Kejriwal, Iftikhar & Nair are all available for one-on-one interviews.
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