An issue like child abuse is a pretty difficult one to bring to screen fairly but if done right (Udaari is proof of that), it can really help in creating awareness about this evil.
Zainab, a 6-year-old little girl from Kasur went missing on 4 January, when she was allegedly abducted. Her body was found the following Tuesday by the police. She had been raped, strangled and left in a trash heap.
The incident caused outrage on social media. And now local TV channel APlus has announced that they will be making a television film, Zainab Kay Qatil to highlight the brutality against children that is rampant in our society. The project's cast includes Suhail Sameer, Hamna Amir, Irfan Khoosat and Saba Faisal among others and is being directed by Aamir Yousaf.
Kashif Kabeer, the executive producer of the project explains what compelled them to take up the mammoth task of telling Zainab's story. "Often when such incidents occur, the media/social media sensationalises the news to the extent that they completely forget how it affects the victim's family. The case is used to just further boost ratings, as a means to an end."
"We're not doing this for fame or trying to use the situation for our own advantage but as a production, we tried to criticise our opportunist society and media who does just that. We have over 65 key characters so we'll be looking at what happened from many different angles. We'll also tackle how morning shows covered the news or how bureaucrats reacted to it," he added.
Kabeer also shared that the telefilm will be played in cinemas also and they hope to take it to festivals abroad too.
"It will be released in three episodes so we'll have it on television, we'll have viewings in cinemas in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad where we plan to invite a lot of the media, activists, bloggers, actors and influencers so we can raise more awareness about the issue of child abuse," he said.
The telefilm has been written by Umera Ahmed, who also wrote the script for Baaghi as well as Behadd, a 2013 telefilm also about child abuse.
Ahmed refused to comment when Images reached out to her.
Reactions on Twitter regarding the upcoming film have been doubtful, with people saying the "wound is too fresh" and how it doesn't feel "appropriate".