India | 2018 | 108 min | Hindi, Urdu | Director Attending
6 pm, 4 Nov, Hermann Gmeiner Auditorium
In this sensitive, Kashmir-set drama, eight-year-old Hamid’s father has gone missing and his mother, Ishrat, has turned her back on the world. Neglected and lonely, with a heart searching for answers, Hamid gazes at the stars in the hope of meeting his father, who Ishrat says has gone to Allah. One day a teacher tells Hamid that the number 786 is God’s number. Using his father’s old mobile phone, he tries dialling it in different combinations and eventually connects to a man he is convinced is the Almighty. On the other end of the line is Abhay, a hard-knuckled Central Reserve Police Force soldier who is living with the accusation that he killed a Kashmiri boy by mistake. Abhay proceeds to humour Hamid and the pair unknowingly and unintentionally change each other’s worlds for the better.
Aijaz Khan worked in advertising for over a decade, during which time he directed more than 350 ads. His debut feature, The White Elephant (2009), premiered at the International Film Festival of India and travelled to several festivals overseas. His second film, Baankey Ki Crazy Baraat (2015), was a commercial success. Commenting on his location and casting decisions for Hamid, Aizaj says, “The Kashmiri people are virtually anonymous in the telling of their own stories. We decided to keep the setting as real and authentic as possible by shooting the film in Kashmir with local actors.’ He adds, “We went a step further by shooting in an actual Central Reserve Police Force camp with CRPF soldiers. This would engage the audience immediately and draw them to Hamid’s small world.”