Globally acclaimed film ‘Jihad’ aims to educate the ignorant terrorists about the meaning of the word, which is to kill one’s own demons and not the innocent in the name of God. The film has won 45 awards in national and international film festivals and has been screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 starting Alfeeya Donna and Hyder Kazmi in the lead roles. Filmi Files talks to Alfeeya Donna who takes us through her role and the idea behind the film on such a sensitive issue, in an interesting conversation with Dr Priyaankaa Mathur
Ever since Debutant actress Alfeeya Donna from Dubai, has been in love with the parallel and realistic cinema in India. After her initial stint as a singer and dancer, she was on a constant lookout for a profound script, a good subject, and a challenging role to make her debut in Bollywood films, so that she could showcase her acting skills as well to the indian entertainment industry. The Film Jihad came to her just as a perfect opportunity and the rest is history. Alfeeya has been globally applauded for her performance in the film having won nearly 31 awards globally.
Talking about her role in the film Alfeeya says, “I play the role of a Kashmiri Pandit woman named Bhavana, from a middle-class family, who is a 4 months pregnant widow of a doctor, who’s sadly shot dead by the terrorists. The movie revolves around a militant named Altaf, whose path crosses with Bhavna and what happens next between them is to watch for.”
Elaborating on the subject and its uniqueness she adds, “The film tries to convey the actual significance of the word ‘Jihad’ and how it is misinterpreted. The word ‘Jihad’ simply means to kill the anger and the devil within you and not to kill innocent people in the name of God. What makes the film unique, is that it’s a way ahead to imparting education about the term Jihad because it is the first step on the ladder to eradicate Terrorism as a whole.”
What inspired her to instantly say yes to the role, she tells, “After the narration of the script by the Director, Rakesh Parmar, I got absorbed with the intensity of the story and said an immediate yes for it, as I saw a great opportunity to be a part of this project, which had a great message to educate people about the real meaning of Jihad.”
Alfeeya gives a peep into the making of the film says, “The film was shot in the sensitive areas of Kashmir like Kupwara, Charari Sharif, Doodh Ganga and Yusmarg. The film features some local artists as well, who all were initially trained for the role during workshops, to add a more realistic touch to the film.”
Reminiscing about the challenges faced by the crew during the shoot she says, “It was difficult for all of us, to shoot for the film, as we shot in the danger zones of Kashmir and that too in the month of Ramadan. We did even get threatened by the militants to stop shooting, but somehow we all worked hard together as a troop, to complete the schedule.”
The film jihad was released worldwide on Hungama and various OTT platforms on the occasion of Eid in 6 languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bhojpuri receiving a positive response. The film stars Alfeeya Donna and Hyderabad Kazmi in the leading roles supported by Bhavani Bashir Yasir,Muzzamil Bhavani, Vishal Tiwari and the child actor Shujat Shafqat along with mainly theatre actors playing crucial roles in the film, who establish the characterisation very well.
Alfeeya has been globally applauded for her performance having won several awards including the NRI Achievers Award 2018 as Best Debutant Actress, International Best Actress Award at Malta World International Film Festival 2018 as the Lead Actress in JIHAD, NHRSJC (National Human Rights & Social Justice Commission) as Best Actress of the Year 2017/1