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Updated: January 19, 2010 16:30 IST

Benazir’s life to hit silver screens soon

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Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
File photo: AP
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The life of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto will soon be seen on the celluloid as a close friend of the slain leader and a British filmmaker are scripting a film based on her.

Farah Durrani and Victoria Schofield are working on the project in collaboration with Insha Taqi Pauwels of Silverstream Productions. The team is currently finalising the script, following which the cast will be chosen.

The film, titled Benazir Bhutto — Destiny, is expected to be released around the fifth death anniversary of the former premier in 2012, Dawn newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The late Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

A member of the team working on the film said it would be about the “extraordinary courage of a daughter, a mother, a politician and a woman who risked all and paid the ultimate price when she was assassinated.”

It was not immediately clear whether the film has the backing of the Bhutto family and Benazir’s widower, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Several film production firms, including some based in Pakistan and India, had announced plans to make movies based on her life within months of her killing.

In March 2008, Mr. Zardari shot down a proposal by Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and Karachi-based Skies Unlimited Films to make a film with veteran actress Shabana Azmi playing Benazir.

Mr. Zardari also told his aides at that time that the late Benazir had signed an agreement with Hollywood filmmaker Robert Redford for a film based on her book “Daughter of the East.”

Victoria Schofield, a writer and broadcaster on Pakistan and Kashmir, was a close friend and contemporary of Benazir at Oxford.

Their friendship spanned over 30 years, from debates at the Oxford Union to Benazir’s first premiership in 1988.

Ms. Schofield travelled with Benazir when she returned to Pakistan after eight years in self-imposed exile and was with her when two suicide bombers attacked her homecoming rally in Karachi in October 2007, killing nearly 140 people.

Farah Durrani is an award-winning documentary-maker who has worked in Pakistan and filmed with the late Benazir over 20 years.

She was the last television journalist to interview Benazir before her assassination.

Ms. Schofield and Ms. Durrani have said they are delighted to be working together on the project.

Their association with the late Benzair gives them a unique insight into her world and her life and makes them a “perfect match to take her story to the big screen,” they said.

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