Partition is one of the most critical events of South Asian history and has been covered in the media in many ways but never from the sole perspective of Fatima Jinnah. In an upcoming series based on the Mader-e-Millat, Sajal Aly, Samiya Mumtaz and Sundus Farhan will be playing her in different eras, each representing a phase of the independence movement.
Danial K Afzal, the writer and director of the upcoming series, told Images that the prologue for the show will release on August 14 but its teaser is ready to go. “The prologue teaser has three scenes, one of Bombay, one of the ’47 train carrying the beheaded corpses and the third when she [Fatima Jinnah] stood for the elections.”
Each scene in the teaser corresponds to a consequent season. “It will be a series with three seasons and 15 episodes per season. The first season is going to be pre-independence, the second is going to be during the independence and the third will be post-independence. This will entirely be from the perspective of Fatima Jinnah and we’ve only shot the prologue in which Sundus Farhan will play the pre-independence Fatima Jinnah, then the main chunk that is independence will be played by Sajal Aly and post-independence, the whole ’65 era, will be played by Samiya Mumtaz,” he explained.
When asked why Aly was chosen as the main face for the series, Afzal responded, “Sajal is an international icon, with her film with Jemima coming in and there’s a lot of big projects she’s doing.” He also revealed details about the other cast members saying, “We have Dananeer as well in a different role of a journalist from Bombay. Then we have Samiya Mumtaz playing the 70-year-old version of Fatima Jinnah, Sajal is playing 50 and Sundus Farhan is playing the early 30s version of Fatima Jinnah.”
The director said the show might make it to TV as well. “We will eventually be pitching it to the OTTs and it is made by a new production house called Aur Studios. Yes, it is very OTT-centred but it could go to a TV channel also. People will be able to watch the prologue on a landing page, Sajal and the others will start posting and it’ll be out on August 14.”
Commenting on what drove him to build a plot around the Mader-e-Millat, he said, “Fatima Jinnah is a figure that has not been touched before and knowing how women-centric stories are sold and taken to a higher esteem in Pakistan, I think she will be creating quite a ripple effect.”