Mumbai, Jan 11 (IANS) Director Kajri Babbar's short film "Khoj" which tells the journey of a teenage Punjabi bride -- from being abandoned and betrayed to the pursuit of redemption -- will release on Lohri on January 13.
"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," Kajri, niece of actor-politician Raj Babbar, said in a statement.
"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," she added.
The film in Punjabi and English was shot in Punjab and the UK.
Zara Khan, who essays the role of Gurpreet, said "Khoj" is a film that has a strong message which she 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 honoured 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," she added.
She feels that "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."
"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 added.
Aparna Acharekar, Programming Head, ZEE5 India, said: "At ZEE5, we consistently aim to provide a range of content for the audience, something that creates an impact and stays with them.
"'Khoj' is in line with this and as a young director, Kajri Babbar has been able to skilfully address an important existing issue."
"Khoj" had premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 and was also a semi-finalist at Student Academy Awards 2018 established by The Academy to encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.