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Posted at: Apr 30, 2015, 1:13 AM; last updated: Apr 30, 2015, 1:01 AM (IST)

New story of a family torn apart, a new perspective on Partition

New story of a family torn apart, a new perspective on Partition

Actors Kartar Cheema and Japtej Singh in Punjabi film, ‘Mitti Na Pharol Jogiya’.

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29

Partition, with its numerous perspectives, has several stories still to tell and film-maker Avtar Singh brings a fresh one. With several years of Bollywood experience behind him, Avtar was the production head of "Barfi" along with Anurag Basu and has made his debut in Pollywood with "Mitti Na Pharol Jogiya". The upcoming film is the story of a family torn apart during the aftermath of Partition.

Starring young actor Japtej Singh, last seen in his impressive debut as young Milkha Singh in film "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", the film is not a love story or a political thriller. “It’s a story of a boy, who is out to find the truth about his family. Politics that followed Partition had an impact on people from both sides of the border and the Mudh Basera (rehabilitation programme to bring back women abducted during Partition) agreement that was initiated years after Partition, was a part of that politics. My film explores the consequences of the rehabilitation programme on women, who had settled down on either side of the border during the years that followed Partition and had to abandon their life once again," says Avtar. The film will release worldwide on May 8.

The film stars Kartar Cheema and actress Aman Grewal, but the real hero of the film is 14-year-old Japtej. “He is the star of my film as a child searching for his mother, who was a Muslim woman. The sensitive story and emotions depicted in the film will surely connect with the audience,” he says.

The film has been extensively shot in Amritsar and, Avtar calims, is an attempt to bring a change in Punjabi cinema. “The run-of-the-mill films that Punjabi film industry is getting known for is a phase that will eventually end. The professional filmmakers are doing a good job, whether its "Jatt James Bond" or "Jatt and Juliet" or "Punjab 1984", but the ratio of quality films and commercial films is very less in the Punjabi film industry and it’s because the industry lacks the right kind of people for the job. I hope that our film is seen as an attempt to bring a fresh air of change.”

The film’s mentor is Anurag Basu and it also finds support from acclaimed director Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra. At a special screening, both the film-makers praised the performances and the concept behind the film. "This is a sensitive story and will surely make an emotional connect with the audience. I am pleased and honoured to be a part of this project,” expressed Anurag Basu. Mehra, too, praised the premise of the film and the potential of Punjabi cinema to excel. “I saw the film due to Japtej, who I have a special bond with after "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag". As I understood the film, it gives a refreshing, contemporary take on the post-Partition era. I was moved to tears and I hope the film will communicate with the audiences,” said Rakeysh Mehra.

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