29. August 2017

Munich, 22 August 2017. Ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival, Beta Cinema picks up official selection entry WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY by Norwegian-Pakistani writer/director Iram Haq. The emotional and topical story about love, social control and a young girl finding her own way between Norway and Pakistan will compete in the TIFF Platform section in September. The Norwegian-Urdu drama was produced by Mer Film in co-production with Rohfilm Factory and Zentropa Sweden. Iram Haq is a well-known guest in Toronto after her first acclaimed feature “I am yours”, which also ran at TIFF and was selected as Norway’s official Academy Award entry.

Fifteen-year-old Nisha (Maria Mojdeh) lives a double life. At home in Oslo, she obeys the traditions and values of Pakistani family life, but outside with her friends she is just like any other Norwegian teenager. One day, Nisha´s two worlds brutally collide when her father, Adil Hussain (“Life of Pi”), catches her in bed with her white, Norwegian boyfriend. Nisha is kidnapped by her parents and sent to live in Pakistan. At first, Nisha feels alone and afraid in the strange, new land, but then, she slowly starts to discover her parents’ culture in a new way.

For writer/director Iram Haq the feature has autobiographical characteristics. “The story of WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is my most personal so far. When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped by my parents and forced to live for one and a half years in Pakistan. I have waited until I felt ready as a filmmaker and as a person to be able to tell this story in a wise and sensible way.”

Beta Cinema’s EVP Thorsten Ritter: “WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is keenly observed and clearly informed by personal experiences. But Iram transcends the depiction of a victim and provides us with a powerful story of courage and at the same time opens our eyes to an impartial view on two very different worlds. It is the perfect example of female auteur driven cinema that is captivating and enlightening. We are certain audiences around the world will respond to this film.”