Digital channel ZEE5 is coming up with yet another unique content based short film made by young director Kajri Babbar. The channel contains blockbuster feature films as well as a range of critically acclaimed films and short films, such as Mehram, Tamashree, Dhaaga. The film titled ‘Khoj’ stars Zara Khan, daughter of British-Pakistani actor and singer Salma Agha.
The short film is based on a 19-year-old Punjabi bride, who was married to an NRI and later abandoned and betrayed. It explores the journey of her struggles with the consequences of NRI arranged marriages that are common in India.
The dual language film (Punjabi & English) has been shot in Punjab and UK and it will be premiered on Lohri, January 13. It is a woman-centric film made by Raj Babbar’s niece. The film was premiered at Cannes Film Festival’s, under Short Film Category and was also a semi-finalist at The Student Academy Awards 2018.
The director said, “Such hard-hitting practices still do exist in the interiors of North India. After researching extensively on it, I was shocked on learning that the issue of wife-abandonment is deep-rooted and widespread, in fact, they have incredibly increased after Brexit and the decline in the British economy. Most of these girls are teenagers and their entire life is gambled with. Khoj is my initiative to throw light on such unacceptable and unspoken issues and I am glad ZEE5 joined hands with us to showcase our effort to the world.”
Zara Khan, who will be seen in the role of Gurpreet, said, “Khoj is a film that has a strong message which I believed in not just as an actor, but as a human being. It is my deepest request that when parents and people of all ages see Khoj, they understand how serious the situation is. I feel honored to play the role of Gurri because deep down she was strong, and most importantly working with Kajri was amazing. As young women, we took up the cause and for someone like Kajri to understand the subject and use it in a cinematic way to spread awareness is commendable. Premiering the film on ZEE5 will ensure it reaches audiences far and wide and we couldn’t have hoped for a better platform than the digital medium for Khoj.”
She further added, “We have the power of cinema and as new age women we want to use it for showing whatever we can in the most honest way possible. I hope I can use my craft to give a voice to such unfortunate happenings and do my small bit to bring about change.”
Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, ZEE5 India said, “Khoj is a brave attempt on an important, on-going issue. At ZEE5, we have always presented content which is meaningful, something that our discerning audience will appreciate. The short film has been beautifully directed by the talented Kajri Babbar and adds another interesting subject to our repertoire of movies on the platform.”