Prior to its world premiere at the Series Mania Festival, the creators of Zindagi’s original show Barzakh, starring actors Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed unveiled the show poster in the French city of Lille. Barzakh is helmed by critically acclaimed director Asim Abbasi who also directed Zindagi’s first original Churails and the feature film Cake. Gracing the event were writer-director Asim Abbasi, actor Sanam Saeed, and Producer Shailja Kejriwal.
Barzakh has the distinct honour of being the only series selected from South Asia. The series will debut in the showcase’s International Panorama, a 12-title competitive section where it will be eligible for the best series, director, actress, actor, student jury, and audience awards.
A family drama centered around an elderly man’s quest for love, Barzakh explores intergenerational trauma between fathers and sons. The narrative is framed within a fantastical world of supernatural beings and otherworldly events that reveal the chasms between life, death, and rebirth.
Fawad Khan portrays the role of a single parent, who is charming but at the same time filled with a lot of guilt for something that he has lost. Elated at Barzakh making the Series Mania cut, Fawad said, “Coinciding with our Series Mania premiere, our poster that we now reveal to the world offers an early glimpse into what can be expected from the series - abstract beauty and ambiguity that reflects the complexities in navigating human relationships in a post-modern world.”
Held annually at Lille, the Series Mania festival, since its inception in 2010, has been instrumental in recognizing and curating the best series worldwide. The festival brings together the best screenwriters, directors, and artists together under one roof.
Sanam Saeed who plays the central female character said, “It is simply surreal to be attending the Series Mania Festival. Barzakh is a story that I connected with from the minute I heard it and in Asim Abbasi’s hands, it’s been crafted into a moving, beautiful series that will renew our faith in love and life. It’s what led me to not only take on the challenging role but also made me look at life in a different light. It is very different from what we have seen on screen and all the actors have performed extremely different diverse roles. I am so proud of this series and am honored that it is having its world premiere at the Series Mania Festival.”
Asim shot this series in Karachi and the picturesque Hunza Valley in Pakistan. Barzakh blends magical realism and supernatural fantasy within a family reunion setting and deals with themes of love, loss, and reconciliation.
Talking about Barzakh and the poster, Asim adds, “Love and memory are both central thematic components of Barzakh. We wanted a visual that represented love in its eternal manifestation, but, which like memory, also had a fleeting, ephemeral quality about – like time slipping by and evaporating around us, leaving behind a distant, but vivid, memory of the moment it all began."
Waqas Hassan and Shailja Kejriwal have produced Barzakh. Sharing her excitement about the premiere, Shailja Kejriwal adds, “Barzakh is the first ever Indo-Pak cross-border series to premiere globally, and presenting it to the world together as a team is truly an emotional moment. Amidst the excitement, we are extremely proud to be presenting the series poster - as enigmatic and as beautiful as the series we have collectively created. This has been a genuine labour of love that has transcended borders, signified by the fact that we will be premiering to a wholly international audience that has gathered from across the globe. Barzakh has come to fruition through unified passion, vision, and bravery from all involved. I would like to extend my wholehearted gratitude to each artist and crew member, as we could not have mounted this ambitious project alone. We hope audiences and fans of original storytelling from around the world will share in our passion and love for this series."
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