Veteran actress Farida Jalal's short film Mehram will be screened in the US and Egypt. It will be screened at CAM International Film Festival, Egypt, on December 26 and at the DFW south Asian Film Festival, Dallas, in February 2018.
Under Saudi Arabian laws, women without a ‘Mehram' (a male blood relative) are forbidden to perform the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Mehram is the story of Aamna (played by Farida), who decides to stand up to the patriarchal system to claim her right to perform the Hajj.
Written and directed by Zain Anwar, the short film is co-produced by Vishakha Singh and Gaurav Bharadwaj.
Bhardwaj said in a statement: "It feels great when your ideas turn into reality and even better when it gets appreciated. After discussing its script with Zain, we instantaneously decided to begin our journey.
Mehram is an effort to start discussions around the discriminating laws of Hajj against women while also pointing at various religions and cultures where gender inequality is accepted as a tradition.
"Though we were mentally prepared to face both appreciation and criticism, we have only got appreciation and acclaim so far and after winning two awards (in Indian festivals) Mehram is now ready to be screened in Egypt, US and many other countries," he added.
The short film, which features Rajit Kapur and Sushma Seth, won the Best Film Award at Delhi International Film Festival and the Best Music Award at Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival.