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Deb Medhekar awaits release date in Afghanistan for Bioscopewala

The film, starring Danny Denzongpa, Geetanjali Thapa, and Adil Hussain, is a take on Rabindranath Tagore's famous story, Kabuliwala. 

Shriram Iyengar

Director Deb Medhekar is currently awaiting permission from the Afghanistan embassy to screen his film, Bioscopewala, in schools and colleges in Afghanistan. The film is a take on the famous story by Rabindranath Tagore, Kabuliwala. Starring Danny Denzongpa, Geetanjali Thapa and Adil Hussain, the film will be released in India on 25 May.

Tagore's Kabuliwala tells the story of a Pashtun dry fruit seller from Afghanistan who forms a close friendship with a little girl. Eventually, on the eve of the girl's wedding, he returns back to his hometown. The story was made into a film first by Bimal Roy in 1961.

The latest adaptation of the story directed by Deb Medhekar, is set in current times. Danny Denzongpa plays the bioscopewala, and the story follows him back when he returns to his homeland of Afghanistan.

The director has written a letter to Dr Shaida Abdali, Afghanistan ambassador to India, requesting for a screening in the country. Though he is uncertain of getting permission for a theatrical release, he is hopeful his film will be screened in schools, colleges or other public platforms.

His letter states that Afghanistan has been portrayed in a positive light in the film. Speaking about it, he said, "While making the film, I hoped that, someday, it would be screened in Afghanistan. The film traces the roots of the Bioscopewala back to his home country. I thought it would be befitting to screen it there. I'm keenly awaiting a positive response. It would give me satisfaction, [a belief] that, in the end, the Bioscopewala does find his way back home."