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Nandita Das' Manto to open 2nd Singapore South Asian Film Festival 

The film, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as the controversial writer Saadat Hasan Manto, is the opening film of the 2nd edition of the international film festival. 

Shriram Iyengar

With its impending Indian release on 21 September, Nandita Das' Manto (2018) is travelling quite a bit. The film has been selected as the opening film of the 2nd edition of Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018 (Sg.SAIFF 2018). The film is a biopic that revolves around the tumultous years in the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto, played by actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

The film arrives in Singapore after having been screened in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 earlier this year. Its premiere at Singapore marks the film's South East Asian premiere, and will be attended by director Das.

Manto trailer: Hard-hitting introduction to the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer biopic

Speaking about the selection, Das said, "We are delighted to screen Manto as the opening film at Sg.SAIFF. Manto was very much a South Asian writer. 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 Subcontinent. Last year, Sg.SAIFF screened a film I acted in, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun 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."

Abhayanand Singh, chairperson of Sg.SAIFF, whose association with Das started with Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? (2014), the film co-produced by his production company, Muvizz says, “It’s a great honour to open the 2nd edition of Sg.SAIFF with one of the most important Indian films of this year, Manto. We are happy that Nandita Das accepted our invitation to come and present the film at the festival.”

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The film which also stars Rasika Duggal, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Rajshri Deshpande, Rishi Kapoor, and Paresh Rawal among others is set to be released in India on 21 September.

The 2nd edition of the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival will begin on 5 October and conclude on 14 October 2018.