KARACHI: A series by producers from India and Pakistan that also feature top Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed, had its world premiere on Saturday at the prestigious Series Mania Festival 2023 in France.
Series Mania is a festival that spotlights international TV series since 2010. Titled “Barzakh” the series has been produced by Pakistani producer Waqas Hassan and his Indian counterpart, Shailja Kejriwal, for Zindagi, a subcontinent focused programming block on OTT platform ZEE5.
It has been written and directed by Asim Abbasi, a critically acclaimed director who also directed Zindagi’s first Pakistani original “Churails” and the feature film “Cake.”
The first two episodes of the series premiered under the International Panorama section at the Series Mania Festival 2023 on Saturday evening, with Saeed, Abbasi and Kejriwal in attendance. Barzakh’s screening took place at the UGC Cine-City in Lille, France, followed by a question-and-answer session.
The series was the only work of art from South Asia selected for screening at the prestigious festival this year. Barzakh is competing among 12 titles for the best series, director, actress, actor, student jury and audience awards.
“[Barzakh is] a project that brings together India and Pakistan, shot in Karachi and the sublime landscapes of the Hunza Valley,” reads the information on Series Mania Festival’s official website.
“Combining realism and fantasy, Barzakh gives us a family story that looks like a fairy tale, in which spirits rub shoulders with the living, and the reunion of a family is marked by the crazy decision of a patriarch who has never been able to recover from the loss of his first love.”
Series Mania opened on March 17 and will run through till March 23. Barzakh will be screened again on March 20 at Le Majestic, Cine-City, Lille in France.
“World premiere of the first two episodes of our series #barzakh a @zindagiofficial original,” Saeed wrote on Instagram. “It was such a privilege and honor to be representing South Asia here at the incredible @seriesmania festival. A melting pot of talent, creativity and inclusion,” she added.
Khan, who according to media reports is playing the role of a single father in the series, shared the official poster of Barzakh prior to its screening at the international festival.
Saeed and Khan both starred in leading roles in the 2012 Pakistani drama series “Zindagi Gulzar Hai” which became a critical and commercial success in Pakistan. The series was also one of several drama serials that gained popularity and enthralled viewers in neighboring India as well.