In early 2000s Dhaka, Krishna Mehra, played by a terrific, melancholic Tabu (The Namesake, Maqbool, Andhadhun), is an Indian intelligence operative laden with guilt, secrets and a repressed identity as a queer woman. When her lover Heena Rehman, also an operative, beguilingly portrayed by Azmeri Haque Badhon (Rehana), is killed in an attempt to assassinate the Bangladeshi Defense Minister, Mehra and her unit realize there is a mole in the agency. This sets off a thrilling cat-and-mouse game across three countries and two continents, involving a fellow agent and his ingenuous wife. But really, like the best espionage thrillers, it’s a story of being the queen of your heart versus always having an ace up your sleeve.

Venerated Indian filmmaker and composer Vishal Bhardwaj directs a fierce female-driven ensemble, in the screen adaptation of ‘Escape to Nowhere’, Amar Bhushan’s novel based on real events. Eschewing depictions of women as the femme fatale or the saccharine manipulator, Bhardwaj ensures that these complex ladies subvert the stereotypes they habited earlier in their lives. The slippery and shifting world of Khufiya houses spies galore, even as they remain far from the homes–and loving–they need.

Red carpet and reception start at 6:30 PM, screening starts at 8:00 PM followed by a Q&A

Fiction, Drama, Female-centered, Action, Mystery+Thriller, LGBTQIA+, Romance

Vishal Bhardwaj

Vishal Bhardwaj is an Indian film director, writer, composer, and producer. He has directed ten feature films, produced five, and composed music for more than forty. His directorial work includes Makdee, The Blue Umbrella, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Rangoon, Pataakha, as well as the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy: Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider (adapted from Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet, respectively). In 2021, he directed an episode of the Indian adaptation of the critically acclaimed show Modern Love: New York. He has received three international and eight national film awards for his work. Bhardwaj began his stage career in 2014 directing A Flowering Tree in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, and composing music for the Monsoon Wedding musical in Berkeley, California.

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October 11, 2023 6:30 pm

Opening Night Gala

World Theatrical Premiere

Vishal Bhardwaj

Vishal Bhardwaj Films

Vishal Bhardwaj, Rohan Narula

Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi

Sreekar Prasad

Vishal Bhardwaj

Tabu, Ali Fazal, Wamiqa Gabbi, Azmeri Haque Badhon