The Zee5 series that marks Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed’s reunion 10 years after their hit show Zindagi Gulzar Hai aired finally has its title — Barzakh. The series is already going international with its selection at one of France’s prestigious film festivals — the Series Mania Festival.
Barzakh is the only selection from South Asia at the festival this year, scheduled to be held in France from March 17 to 24. The web series will be screened as part of International Panorama lineup, a 12-title competitive section, and is also nominated in several categories such as Best Series, Best Director, Best Actor (female), Best Actor (male) as well as the Student Jury award and the Audience award.
Directed by Asim Abbasi, the show is a blend of magical realism and supernatural fantasy and sees Khan playing the role of a single parent, charming but ridden with guilt for what he has lost. Saeed plays the female lead who bears otherworldly secrets and takes it upon herself to heal and bring everyone together.
Thrilled at the selection, Abbasi said, “At its core, Barzakh is a family drama framed within a world of supernatural beings and other worldly events. The genesis of the story stemmed from a personal loss and the fears that came with it, making me realise that love is indeed eternal and nudging me to write a story about it. The selection of Barzakh at the Series Mania is such a momentous yet humbling occasion for all of us, not only because it’s a show that’s so close to my heart but also because the selection is such a strong validation of our belief in this story which is now finding its way amongst the best in the world.”
Producer Shailja Kejriwal said this series was conceptualised during the pandemic when all pre-defined notions of love, life, death and beyond were going through a seismic shift. It was a time when online work, mourning and celebrations had led to a sort of haze and confusion about what was real, she said.
“Here lay the genesis of the show which is essentially a family reunion, where the living and the dead are all invited. Set in the Hunza valley with its myths and legends, Asim Abbasi’s quirky, funny, deeply philosophical and layered writing, a dollop of magic realism and bringing Fawad Khan back all added up to a show that needed to be made. I’m very thrilled as Barzakh not only finds its title, but also becomes the only series from our region to make it to the Series Mania Festival. We feel its selection at the festival is the perfect first step on the global journey the series is set to embark on,” she added.
Khan had previously described the story as a “genre-bending saga of familial traumas and reconciliations, a tale of love and loss set in a world of magic and mystique”. It has been shot in the Hunza Valley.