Kukri selected for Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

‘Kukri’, which tells the story of notorious serial killer Javed Iqbal, has been selected for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

"the untold story of the serial killer Javed Iqbal"

Pakistani crime drama Kukri has been recognised after securing itself a place at the upcoming Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

The film portrays the life of horrific serial killer Javed Iqbal, who raped and murdered over 100 boys during the 1990s in Lahore.

Kukri gained international recognition after it was screened at the UK Asian Film Festival.

It went on to be selected for the acclaimed Berlin International Art Film Festival.

Kukri was released in cinemas on June 2, 2023.

The film will now feature alongside Bollywood and regional South Asian films at the festival, which will run from August 11-20, 2023.

Director Abu Aleeha received the news with excitement and relief. Taking to Twitter, he wrote:

“Delighted to announce that Kukri, the untold story of the serial killer Javed Iqbal, has been selected for the Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2023.”

The film faced many problems before its release on June 2, 2023, including a title change. Originally named Javed Iqbal, the title was changed to Kukri to avoid any misunderstanding that the killer was being enthroned.

Aleeha stated that the focus of the movie was to promote consciousness in identifying child abusers, and was not a celebration of Iqbal and his chilling crimes.

Kukri mesmerises its audience by throwing light on the reality of child abuse.

The film boasts chilling scenes of children playing, haunting music, and a perplexing atmosphere from the first scene onwards.

Yasir Hussain plays the lead role, with Rabiya Kulsoom and Ayesha Omar in supporting roles. Each actor showcases their talent and fully immersed themselves in their characters.

Javed Ahmed, who produced the film, spoke about the many trials and tribulations that were faced ahead of the release.

Unfortunately, censorship has resulted in approximately 22 minutes of the theatrical release being cut out. This includes the end sequence.

Speaking on the portrayal of such prevalent issues in the film, Ayesha said:

“Although it is a small budget film, it carried immense power due to the cause it represented.”

Stating that the importance of sharing Javed Iqbal’s story cannot be overstated, she added:

“By bringing this narrative to the forefront, we hope to raise awareness among people about the existence of such issues in our society.

“It is crucial that we empower individuals to recognise and identify those who experience similar hardships and encourage them to report such incidents.”

Watch the Kukri Trailer


Sana is from a law background who's pursuing her love of writing. She likes reading, music, cooking and making her own jam. Her motto is: "Taking the second step is always less scarier than taking the first."

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