Anup Singh’s ‘The Song of the Scorpions’ to premiere at Locarno 2017

Anup Singh’s ‘The Song of the Scorpions’ is set to premiere at the prestigious Piazza Grande open-air screen at the 70th Locarno Film Festival, on Wednesday 9th August 2017.

With 8,000 viewers a night, the Piazza Grande is both the Festival’s heart and its showcase. The programming on the Piazza Grande offers celebrated screenings, most of them world, international or European premieres, introduced by the director and the cast.

Written and directed by the award-winning Anup Singh (‘Qissa’), ‘The Song of Scorpions’ is a story of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of a song. The film stars Golshifteh Farhani (‘Untouchable’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’) as Nooran, and Irrfan Khan (‘Life of Pi’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Qissa’) as Aadam. The film also has veteran actor Waheda Rehman in a supporting role as well as Tillotama Shome, Shashank Arora, Kritika Pande, Sara Arjun and Shefali Bhushan.

Nooran, carefree and defiantly independent, is a tribal woman learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer. When Aadam, a camel trader in the Rajasthan desert, hears her sing, he falls desperately in love. But even before they can get to know each other better, Nooran is poisoned by a brutal treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.

In addition, one of the film’s producers, Michel Merkt, will receive the Locarno Best Independent Producer Award (the Raimondo Rezzonico). The honour pays tribute not just to the outstanding talents of a “man of cinema”, but also to the intelligence of a producer whose work is reshaping his professional profile in an industry where, in Merkt’s own words, “the producer’s task should be to smooth the path for filmmakers, bringing their vision and ideas to the screen, and then to find them an audience.”

The Piazza Grande section hosts two awards, the Variety Piazza Grande Award given by the Locarno Jury and the Prix du Public UBS  Award, (audience choice award) voted for by over 8000 attendees, which will win a cash prize worth 30,000 CHF.

Not many Indian films have made it to this category. Notably, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjodaro closed the Festival last year at the Piazza Grande. Other Indian films that have screened in this section include Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Raghu Romeo’ and Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Bombay Velvet’.


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