After World Premiering at the Locarno International Film Festival 2017, Director Anup Singh’s The Song Of Scorpions starring Irrfan Khan, Golshifteh Farahani and Waheeda Rehman opened to a packed response at its Indian Premiere at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. The film has been selected in the Spotlight Category at the festival.
The Indian premiere of the film saw serpentine queues outside the premiere venue at PVR Icon in Andheri, Mumbai as audiences turned up in large numbers to watch the film.
The Song Of Scorpions is an Swiss-French-Singaporean co-production and has been produced by Saskia Vischer and Shahaf Peled for Feather Light Films, Michel Merkt for KNM in association with Thierry Lenouvel for France’s Cine Sud Promotion and Singapore based Aurora Holdings and M Capital Ventures.
The Song of Scorpions which is director Anup Singh’s third feature film is a story of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of a song. Nooran (Golshifteh Farahani), carefree and defiantly independent, is a tribal woman learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer. When Aadam (Irrfan Khan), a camel trader in the Rajasthan desert, hears her sing, he falls desperately in love. But even before they can get to know each other better, Nooran is poisoned by a treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.
The Indian Premiere was attended by director Anup Singh, producers Saskia Vicher and Shahaf Peled. Also in attendance were the cast members of the film which included Shefali Bhushan, Sara Arjun and Kritika Pande. Besides this, actor Rasika Dugal who had starred in Anup Singh’s Qissa – The Tale Of A Lonely Ghost had also attended the screening.
The film marks the second collaboration of director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan after the much acclaimed Qissa – The Tale Of A Lonely Ghost and also marks the comeback of legendary actress Waheeda Rehman. The Song of Scorpions was also an official selection at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival.
It is also the second feature film of Anup Singh that has been chosen as an Official Selection at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Qissa – The Tale Of A Lonely Ghost had won the award for the Second Best Film in the India Gold competition category in the 2013 edition of the festival.
The Indian Premiere of The Song Of Scorpions also coincides with the 70th year of the Swiss-Indian Treaty of Friendship and was be attended by Martin J. Beinz, the Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai.
During the Q&A that followed the screening, director Anup Singh talked about how the tragic incident of the Nirbhaya gang rape that had occurred in Delhi in 2012 had prompted him to make the film. He also added that the character of Nooran was inspired by his observation of watching a certain section of women singers in rural Rajasthan. These are singers that sing compositions based on the birth of a child and other such rituals but are not allowed to perform in public.
Talking about the lead actors, the director mentioned how Golshifteh Farahani’s recounting of her experiences of her life in Iran and post her exile from Iran convinced him that she was the perfect choice for the character of Nooran. Similarly Irrfan Khan’s ability to depict the good and bad side of a person with the right balance gave Anup Singh the confidence to cast Irrfan Khan for the role of Aadam.
Director Anup Singh was overwhelmed with the response received by The Song Of Scorpions at its Indian Premiere and said “This been a very moving moment and I will cherish it for a long time. The enthusiasm of the audience before and during the screening touched me a lot. One rarely sees such a cinema crazy audience like we see in Mumbai. For a filmmaker, it is heartening to see such an enthusiastic audience.”
Equally pleased with the response to the Indian Premiere was Producer Saskia Vicher who said “We are thrilled to present the Indian Premiere of The Song Of Scorpions at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. This is the first ever time we are showcasing the film to Indian audiences and they were totally engrossed in the film. Going by the response it has got from the audience, I am glad to say that the festival has added another screening. And that says a lot about how much the audiences have liked the film.”
Producer Shahaf Peled said “It has been a great privilege to be here at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and showcase our film for the Indian audiences. It was amazing to witness the love and appreciation the audience have showered upon our film.”