It is 1993 and as the country eagerly awaits Boris Yeltsin’s historic visit to India, the Indian Intelligence Bureau recruits an unassuming sign-language interpreter and school teacher to interrogate Ashok, a deaf waiter who is in custody over an alleged plot to assassinate the Russian President. What develops over the course of the fraught proceedings is a fragile bond between two isolated men that oscillates between curiosity, mistrust, and a primal understanding. And this is exactly what two rival factions of the Bureau are counting on and set to manipulate, as they forge their own kind of cold war. 

Atul Sabharwal (Midnight Lost & Found, Audience Award for Best Short, IFFLA 2008) returns to the festival with the world premiere of his enthralling slow-burn period espionage thriller that seduces us into an atmospheric maze of secrets, lies and repressed emotions. A moody visual design captures the beguiling textures of Berlin, the Delhi haunt frequented by diplomats where the center of the drama lies. A top-notch cast includes a fabulously sinister Rahul Bose (Mr. And Mrs. Iyer) and an excellent Aparshakti Khurana (Dangal), while Ishwak Singh (Made in Heaven) mesmerizes without ever uttering a word. The unsettling glimmer in his eyes eloquently rides the threshold between shrewd thrill and utter desperation, commanding our constantly shifting assumptions in a game of power where profound kinship and deceit may be two faces of the same coin.

Fiction, Drama, Action, Mystery+Thriller

Atul Sabharwal
Atul Sabharwal

Atul Sabharwal started his screenwriting career in the Hindi film industry at the age of 26. His first short film as writer and director, Midnight Lost and Found, won the Best Short Award at IFFLA in 2008. Shortly after that, he wrote and directed the 26-part television series Powder (2010) for Yash Raj Films, a prominent studio in India, followed by the feature films Aurangzeb (2013), In Their Shoes (2014), and the Netflix original Class of  ’83 (2020). Most recently, he has been writing on the Amazon Prime series Jubilee, produced by Reliance Entertainment.

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World Premiere

Atul Sabharwal

Zee Studios , Atul Sabharwal , Manav Shrivastav

Atul Sabharwal

Shreedutta Namjoshi

Irene Dhar Malik

Krishna Kumar

Aparshakti Khurana, Ishwak Singh, Rahul Bose, Kabir Bedi, Anupriya Goenka