What Will People Say
(Hva vil folk si)
A film by iram haq
Drama, 106 minutes, Norwegian/Urdu, Norway, 2017
Starring: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ekavali Khanna, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha, Lalit Parimoo, Jannat Zubair Rehmani, Isak Lie Harr, Nokokure Dahl
A gripping and moving drama about a father-daughter relationship
Sixteen year-old Nisha lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager. When her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide.
To set an example, Nisha’s parents decide to kidnap her and place her with relatives in Pakistan. Here, in a country she has never been to before, Nisha is forced to adapt to her parents’ culture.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is a moving drama about the complex relationship between a father and daughter. It is the story of a young girl who must find her own way in life. In the lead, 18 year old Maria Mozhdah makes her impressive acting debut. Her father is played by Adil Hussain, who has previously acted in a long line of Indian and international films like LIFE OF PI.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is the second feature film by director and scriptwriter Iram Haq. Her first feature I AM YOURS (2013) had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and won several awards at international film festivals.
“The story of WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is my most personal so far. When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped by my parents and forced to live for one and a half years in Pakistan. I have waited until I felt ready as a filmmaker and as a person to be able to tell this story in a wise and sensible way. That is to say, without making the girl appear as just a victim and her parents as merely her perpetrators. I wanted to tell an impossible love story between parents and their child; one that cannot have a happy ending as long as the gap between these two cultures remains so wide.
I want to put the audience side by side with Nisha and her emotions throughout the film. After a long casting process, we finally found the perfect actress for the part in Maria Mozhdah. It was an amazing discovery, and she was a joy to work with alongside the more experienced actors in the other parts.”
Iram Haq is an actress, writer and director. She made and starred in her directorial debut, the short film LITTLE MISS EYEFLAP, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Her feature film debut I AM YOURS premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was selected as Norway’s official Oscar entry. The film has gone on to win a number of prizes at festivals around the world.