Harami an Indo- American production feature film, written and directed by Shyam Madiraju and featuring Emraan Hashmi has officially been selected to be a part of the main competition section (New Horizons) of the Busan International Film Festival 2020. One of the 10 films from 9 countries in the competition, Harami is the only Indian film to be selected for this year's main competition. In a year drastically affected by Covid, besides Venice, Busan is the only other festival that's taking place physically. All 194 films selected this year for the festival will all be screened physically in theaters. The festival is from 21 -30 October, 2020.
Shyam Madiraju on Harami getting into main selection at Busan Film Festival
"As a filmmaker, I’m truly elated that Harami has been invited to be a part of Busan Festival’s main competition section. Korea is the epicenter of the filmmaking universe right now, so it’s an immense honor to be a part of their celebration of cinema this year."
Shooting in Mumbai
"Harami, while set in the streets and slums of Mumbai is a universal story of hope and redemption. The film, a labor of love, took me over two years to just scout during numerous visits to India and despite all the monumental challenges we shot live in Victoria Terminus, Bombay Central, and other trains stations, a feat not for the faint-hearted. With crews over 200 including international talent from America, UK, Denmark and South Africa, Harami was a global production set in the slums of Dharavi and crowded streets of Mohamed Ali Road."
Casting Emraan Hashmi
"And the most endearing and cherishing part of this whole journey was working with all the actors in the film. Especially the kids, a majority of them having never acted before, and some actually from Dharavi; it was an experience of a lifetime."
"But it was Emraan Hashmi playing the role of ‘Sagar Bhai’ a very Dickensian Fegin like character who is a former English teacher turned gang lord who is the real revelation of the film. The role complex and nuanced and unlike anything Emraan had done before, was a true challenge for both Emraan and I."
"Having never worked in Bollywood or with Emraan before, all my concerns disappeared when I saw how collaborative and detailed Emraan, a true director’s actor, was with his preparation for the role. We discussed in great detail over numerous reading sessions and rehearsals, the smallest elements of his character, like his gait, his diction, his style of speaking, the choice of English over Hindi, and his unique look that we created for him."
"It was Shyam’s script that really attracted me to his project. And his obsession with details, it was very contagious. Kudos to Shyam and his Harami team for making it into the prestigious main competition section of the festival. It was a true passion project for all involved and I am looking forward to the day when we will be able to share the film with the Indian audience."
Pravesh Singh Rajput, Producer:
"Harami is a bold and artistic film, but at the same time it has a very modern style of filmmaking that will appeal to a very wide range of audience in India. It is also a very timely film for the youth of India as they are increasingly voicing their displeasure with status quo in the film industry and the nation. The majority of the child actors being first time actors the film brings an authenticity and rawness to the film that will appeal to the younger audience of India. I am proud that we are premiering at Busan and I am even more proud to have helped bring Shyam Madiraju’s vision to the screen."
Executive Producer PAUL FEIG on Harami…
“I absolutely love Harami. I think it’s the perfect blend of beautiful filmmaking, poignant storytelling and amazing performances, all while keeping a firm eye on its commercial appeal. Between the cast of amazing young newcomers and the deep talents of Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi, the film is affectingly performed and a total crowdpleaser. Its ultimately uplifting message is exactly what is needed in these troubled times, and Shyam Madiraju’s masterful balance of heart, emotion and tension powers the film forward skillfully. I could not be prouder to be an executive producer on this wonderful film and won’t rest until the world gets the chance to fall in love with it the way I have.”
Producers on the film include Pravesh Kumar Rajput and Brent Maddock. The Executive Producers are Paul Feig and Sunny Khanna.
HARAMI is a hard-hitting, visually striking street saga of youth crime and broken destinies, love and redemption, played out against the vibrant backdrop of chaotic and relentless Mumbai.