Producer and distributor Viacom18 Motion Pictures has released a teaser of Nandita Das’s Saadat Hasan Manto biopic Manto, which will be premiered at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. The 97-second teaser covers the key themes of the movie, which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the Urdu writer: his independent streak, his bluntness and sense of humour, his artistic temperament, his sadness at the Partition of India, and his firm belief in the freedom of expression. Packed into the teaser are traces of Manto’s years as a scriptwriter for Hindi films in the 1940s, the obscenity trial against his short story Thanda Gosht in Lahore after he moved to Pakistan after the Partition, and the debates he had with his wife Safia, played by Rasika Dugal.

The cast includes Chandan Roy Sanyal, Atul Kumar, Ila Arun, Shashank Arora and Tahir Raj Bhasin. A release date for India has not yet been announced.