"She was so charming and full of life."
Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava will direct a film about social media personality Qandeel Baloch, who was murdered in an honour killing in 2016.
Alankrita, along with producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna, have acquired the rights to the book The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch by Sanam Maher.
The news was announced ahead of the Cannes Film Market.
Fouzia Azeem, better known as Qandeel Baloch, was a social media celebrity and model.
She rose to prominence due to her videos on social networks discussing her daily routine, her rights as a Pakistani woman, and various controversial issues.
Qandeel was nicknamed ‘Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian’ and ‘Pakistan’s first social media star’.
In 2016, she was strangled to death by her two brothers because she allegedly “brought dishonour to the Baloch name” with her videos and social media posts.
Alankrita Shrivastava has said she was always fascinated by Qandeel’s life story.
She said: “When Qandeel Baloch was murdered in Pakistan in 2016, I was shaken up.
“It was a heinous honour killing. I couldn’t stop thinking about her.
“I started watching Qandeel’s videos repeatedly, and I was fascinated. She was so charming and full of life.
“A poor girl from a small village worked her way up to being provocatively famous. She was just 26 when she was killed.
“And ironically, it’s only after her death that she has been reclaimed as a feminist.
“I see this film as an ode to the courageous spirit of Qandeel Baloch.
“It will chronicle her sensational and astonishing rise to fame.
“I hope to piece together the memories of the rebellious, funny and vulnerable young girl, whose life was cut short because she shimmered too bright.
“The film will celebrate her spunk and lust for life by telling her story without judgment, hopefully, the way she would have liked to tell it.”
Vikas Sharma said:
“Qandeel’s story needs to be told by a sensitive filmmaker who is passionate about women’s stories.”
“Alankrita is just the filmmaker for it. And not just because she is an award-winning feminist filmmaker, but because she has so much empathy for her characters.
“She tells their stories with candour and warmth.”
Sunny Khanna stated that the world needs to know about Qandeel Baloch, adding:
“Qandeel Baloch’s story is important and relevant.
“Even today women often continue to be at risk when they dare to express their individuality and challenge the status quo.
“I believe the world needs to watch stories like this.”