The first poster of award-winning director Rahat Kazmi's film, based on Urdu short story writer Ismat Chughtai's most celebrated and most controversial work 'Lihaaf', was released at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
Titled Lihaaf ('The Quilt'), the film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee and Sonal Sehgal in the lead. Set in Lucknow, the story revolves around lonely Begum Jaan, who turns to her masseuse Rabbo seeking comfort and companionship.
Begum Jaan's young niece is the narrator of the story, who is devastated when she learns about the nature of their relationship. The poster shows feet of two women - one wearing a pair of heavily-embellished anklets, the other with a thinner set - entangled on a dark red velvet quilt.
Chughtai courted controversy for the story, which touches upon the themes of homosexuality. The writer and her friend-contemporary Saadat Hasan Manto were accused of obscenity for their stories -- Lihaaf and Boo respectively.
They went on to defend themselves in the Lahore Court and were absolved of the charges later. The film has been produced by Kazmi, Tariq Khan, Zeba Sajid, Namita Lal, Umesh Shukla, Utpal Acharya and Ashish Wagh. It is co-produced by Oscar winning producer Marc Baschett.
The announcement comes close on the heels of the premiere of Nandita Das' biopic on Manto at the festival. (PTI)