~Based on a true story the film deciphers India’s unfortunate day and is a part of ‘Cinema of the World’ section of the film festival ~
The International Film Festival of India has become a platform where best of the world cinema is savoured by the national and international audience. Along with the light-hearted films, the film based on real life incidents are leaving the audience awestruck with their grimed subject and realistic picturization. The French filmmaker Nicolas Saada’s gripping re-creation of the 2008 Mumbai attack ‘Taj Mahal’ left the audience with tears in their eyes and a feeling of adoration for cinema in their heart. The special screening of the film was held today at the 46th IFFI organized in memory of those innocents who lost their lives and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives.
The film is a part of ‘Cinema of the World’ section in the film festival ongoing in Goa and is based on the experiences of a teenager trapped in hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai during the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks. Actress Stacy Martin has played the role of teenage girl Louise, who has moved to Mumbai with her English mother (Gina McKee) and French father (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) for his new job. They stay temporarily at the Taj Mahal Hotel. One evening, she realizes that a terrorist attack is underway. Her only connection to the outside world is her cell phone, which allows her to maintain contact with her father. The film revolves around the situation that she has to spend a long night alone in the face of danger and after this night her life will never be the same again.
Talking about the film, the director Nicolas Saada said, “Late 2008, a few days after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, I was having dinner with some friends. Someone told me his niece had been trapped in the hotel during the attack. She managed to escape thanks to her survival instinct, and by keeping communication with her father and mother, who were outside the hotel. I was fascinated by this story and I told myself that one day, I would make a film about it.”
“I set up a long interview with her, so that she could describe in details the night she had spent locked up in the hotel. I also wanted to know about journey to India and so I liked the idea of connecting her story to a bigger story, to give it greater impact. It’s truly a coincidence that the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher took place during the editing process of the film”, he added.
Sharing her experience on working in the film, actress Stacy Martin said, “Nicolas Saada sent me the script and we decided to meet. We talked about the story a lot, about Louise’s character, about the script being based on real events. And therefore, about the responsibility for the real Louise to tell her story. The more we talked, the more I wanted to be part of it. I was intrigued by the singularity of her. At a very young age, Louise found herself in a situation most of us would never have to face. The movie tells the story of a terrorist attack, but also the journey of an eighteen-year-old girl who finds herself living in a very harsh world.”
The 46th IFFI is showcasing the best of International cinema to national audience and best of Indian cinema to international delegates. This year, the festival is screening 187 international films including 26 Oscar entries in different sections.