Movie of the Month


Film Title: Shahid

Event No : 24
Date of Screening : 13-Sep-2014
Venue and Time : Hotel Savera 10 am

Dhananjayan Govind (Chief - South Business) UTV

Hansal Mehta



"Shahid" traces the story of a slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi. Set during the communal violence that was unleashed in the city of Mumbai in 1993, we see a remarkable tale unfold in front of us. From attempting to become a terrorist, to being wrongly imprisoned under the anti-terrorism law, to becoming a lawyer, a champion of human rights (particularly the Muslim minorities in India), Shahid traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy while following the rise of communal violence in India. This story of an impoverished Muslim struggling to come to terms with injustice, inequality and rising above his circumstances is an inspiring testament to the human spirit.

Language: Hindi
Running Time: 129 mins
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Directed by: Hansal Mehta
Produced by: Anurag Kashyap, Sunil Bohra, Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Shailesh R Singh
Written by: Sameer Gautam Singh, Hansal Mehta
Lal, Sreenivasan, Vinay Forrt, Sajitha Madathil, Riya Saira
Music by: Rajkumar Rao, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K K Menon, Prabhleen Sandhu
Shot by: Anuj Dhawan

About the Film

The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival's 'City to City' programme in September 2012. The film was selected for distribution by UTV Motion Pictures.


  1. After making Woodstock Villa in 2008, Mehta aiming to make a film on terrorism, had a brief meeting Shahid Azmi in 2008. However after Azmi was assassinated in 2010, Mehta changed the theme and decided to make a biopic. It took almost two years and several drafts of scripting along with Sameer Gautam Singh and Apurva Asrani, before film went on the floor.
  2. In his seven-year career as human rights lawyer, Shahid Azmi won 17 acquittals, though script focuses on his two cases, the 2006 Mumbai train bombings and the 2008 Mumbai attacks for dramatic effect. Azmi was eventually shot dead in his Mumbai office in February 2010 at age 32.
  3. The scene in which Azmi's face is blackened by assailants outside a courtroom, was actually a re-enactment of an incident from Mehta's own life. In 2000, he was attack by Shiv Sena members and his office vandalised, after the film Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! (Don't take it to heart), which dealt with the issue of migrants in Mumbai.


  1. National Film Award for Best Actor (61st) - Rajkummar Rao
  2. National Film Award for Best Direction (61st ) - Hansal Mehta
  3. Best Director - 13th New York Indian Film Festival - Hansal Mehta
  4. Filmfare Best Actor (Critics) - Rajkummar Rao
  5. Screen Award for Best Screenplay - Sameer Singh, Hansal Mehta, Apurva Asrani

About the Director

Hansal Mehta started his career in 1993, with TV cookery show, Khana Khazana, hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor on Zee TV, where he worked till 2000.

Meanwhile he also directed several short fiction based series like Love Stories followed by Rishtey.

Hansal Mehta has directed many films including his early independent features Jayate, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar based on the issue of migrants in Mumbai, and the cult gangster film Chhal. For much of the last ten years, Mehta has directed more commercial and mainstream films including Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai, Raakh, and Woodstock Villa.

After a soul-searching sabbatical to explore social work and rural life, Mehta has returned to his independent sensibilities with Shahid. He went to direct CityLights starring Rajkummar Rao about a poor farmer from Rajasthan coming to Mumbai in search of livelihood.


About the Guest

Dhananjayan Govind who is not only a self proclaimed business man, but also a film academician / historian / enthusiast unlike any. His passion and understanding of Indian cinema has made him a successful producer in the contemporary film industry and chief of Disney-UTV Motion Pictures South. From him we can certainly hope to get some insight into how the UTV Spotboy team was able to identify this film, which part of the script intrigued them the most and led them to select it for production & distribution, and most importantly whether such an honestly made film was able to reap profit for the producers. He has also authored a book, 'The Best of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2010', that portrays the breadth and depth of his Tamil cinema knowledge.

Reviews after the Screening

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