Praveen Morchhale’s Urdu language feature Widow of Silence will be screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam between January 23 and February 3. Set in Kashmir, Morchale’s film, starring Shilpi Marwaha, Ajay Chourey, Noorjahan and Bilal, follows Aasiya’s attempt to get a death certificate from the government for her disappeared husband. Aasiya is a half-widow – a woman whose husband is a victim of the alleged enforced disappearances during the armed struggle of the 1990s in Kashmir.
Widow of Silence will be screened under the Voices section at the festival, which showcases “powerful stories, their distinct characters, their captivating subjects and important themes”, according to a press statement. “I am so happy that a film on painful situations of half widows in Kashmir and their struggle to have a dignified life in society, has been invited to the one of the world’s most reputed festivals,” Morchhale said. “It’s a recognition of cinema deeply rooted in the humanity.”
This is Morchhale’s third film after Barefoot to Goa (2013) and Walking With The Wind (2017). Widow of Silence was premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in October 2018 followed by the Kolkata International Film Festival, where it won the Best Film Award in the Indian Film Competition section.