The Winter Within

Source: Shanker Raman

‘The Winter Within’

Bangkok-based sales agent Diversion has boarded Amir Bashir’s The Winter Within, which is set to world premiere in competition at Busan International Film Festival this week.

The film focuses on a couple torn apart by the violent military conflicts in the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan. Indian actress Zoya Hussain stars as a domestic helper who is desperately waiting for her husband to return from the war. Hussain is known for her breakthrough role in Anurag Kashyap’s The Brawler, which premiered at Toronto in 2017.

Kashmir-born director Bashir worked as an actor before making his directorial debut feature Autumn in 2010, which played festivals including Toronto, Rotterdam and Fribourg where it won the Don Quixote award.

The Winter Within marks his second feature and is an India-France-Qatar co-production. It will premiere in BIFF’s New Currents main competition section on Sunday (October 9). The film is produced by Claire Lajoumard of Paris-based Acrobates Films who closed the worldwide sales deal with Mai Meksawan of Diversion.

“The acquisition marks Diversion’s first non-Southeast Asian title as we initially planned to focus on films from this region,” says Mai. “But we fell in love with The Winter Within for its resonating story, masterful direction and the breathtakingly beautiful, painting-like cinematography.”

One of the first titles on Diversion’s slate was Vietnamese director Bui Kim Quy’s Memoryland, which competed in New Currents last year before playing in Berlinale’s Forum. Diversion has closed a deal with Vitrine Filmes, which aims to release the film in five Spanish cities including Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao in May 2023.

Diversion has also boarded Filipino auteur Lav Diaz’s A Tale Of Filipino Violence, which premiered at FIDMarseille and has been selected for Filmfest Hamburg and Mexico’s Black Canvas film festival. The film follows the rise of a hacienda clan in the 1970s, which coincides with the period of the Marcos regime.