Aligarh: 10 things to know

Oct 6, 2015, 16:24 IST


While the Manoj Bajpayee-Rajkumar Rao starrer Aligarh makes us proud, worldwide, here are some things you should know about the movie.


1. Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, is the first Hindi film that will open the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival since its inaugural year in 1997. This is a first, in seventeen years of the festival’s history, apart from Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, which opened the inaugural year.

2. Aligarh had its World Premiere at the 20th Busan International Film Festival on October 4.

3. The film garnered applause and received a standing ovation following its screening at Busan.

4. The film is also selected to be screened at the prestigious 59th BFI London Film Festival (October 7-18, 2015), as part of the Festival's Debate strand: Riveting films that amplify, scrutinise and surprise.

5. Aligarh is based on true events. The film follows the life of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University who, when discovered to be homosexual, was fired from his position.

6. Dr Srinivas Ramachandra Siras, the 64-year-old professor, who had fought against his unlawful and unethical suspension from AMU on the grounds of “gross indecency” for being gay, was found dead in 2010.

7. Though the protagonist of the film is professor Siras, it draws inspiration from similar cases across the country. Writer Apurva Asrani said, “Aligarh is also based on other true cases where men who don’t conform to societal norms have faced discrimination. Our protagonist is an amalgamation of these characters.”

8. The film is currently doing the festival rounds and the makers haven’t finalised the national release dates. “By the time Aligarh releases in India, it would have garnered the eyeballs and support from various countries that value human rights and freedom of expression,” adds Apurva.

9. Director-actor duo, Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar are coming together for the first time after winning the National Award for Shahid, another gritty social commentary that released a couple of years back.

10. This is the first time Manoj Bajpayee will be seen playing the character of a homosexual. Talking about the difference between all the roles he’s played in the past and this, Manoj said, “I've tried something completely new as an actor. I've forgotten everything that I've learned so far and have tried to explore something new in terms of approaching a role...let's see how people find it.”