After Massive Recognition At Cannes, Bollywood’s Anurag Kashyap Heaps Praises ‘In Flames’

Pakistanis have a reason to rejoice as Pakistani-Canadian film ‘In Flames’ directed by Zarrar Kahn recently had its world premiere at the 76th Annual Cannes film festival. The horror film will continue to screen at the prestigious festival till May 27.

‘In Flames’ is the first Pakistan-set film in Directors’ Fortnight since Jamil Dehlavi’s The Blood of Hussain in 1980, reported Variety. The film is produced by Anam Abbas with executive producers Shant Joshi, Todd Brown and Maxime Cottray on board. The women-centered film stars actors Rameesha Nawal, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Adnan Shah Tipu and Omair Javaid.

After making waves and receiving numerous accolades at the festival, ‘In Flames’ found an admirer across the border. Bollywood’s Anurag Kashyap was all praises for the film. In a panel discussion in the Canadian Pavilion he said, “In Flames is so much more than a moody horror film. It talks about society, pulls out everything, and shows it bare naked. That hits you so hard in the gut.”

He added, “I am a genre film freak. Genres evolved as a response to all kinds of repression. What were zombies if not Nazis?”

For the unversed, Kashyap’s neo-noir thriller ‘Kennedy’ will premiere at Cannes on May 24. Kahn responded to the Gangs of Wasseypur director’s with more praise and said, ”In Pakistan, Bollywood films are banned but we love to consume them. They were so larger than life that I was like we can never make those films. They are out of scale of what is possible,” Kahn said.

“Watching the films of Anurag Kashyap gave us the palette and the landscape for films that we could make in Karachi. I am grateful to him for creating that kind of cinema and blazing that trail,” he added.

Earlier in an exclusive conversation with Variety, Kahn spoke about the film and said, “It was supposed to be a drama about a young woman and her secret boyfriend. And then it ended up becoming a thriller.”

“The themes were becoming also more relevant to what is happening in Pakistan at this time, around the conversation of women’s rights, property rights – a lot of these time optics are really in flux and conflict right now, and those themes were also becoming more violent. So, it was feeling not only is this the film that I could make, this is also the film that needs to be made,” Kahn added.

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