Acclaimed Indian filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava has announced the biopic of Pakistani model and social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was murdered in an honor killing incident in 2016.

Shrivastava, along with producers Vikas Sharma and Sunny Khanna has acquired the rights to the book The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch, by Sanam Maher, published by Aleph, it was revealed ahead of the Cannes Film Market.

Shrivastava’s credits include feminist films Lipstick Under My Burkha and Netflix series Bombay Begums.


Baloch, whose real name is Fouzia Azeem, had stoked controversy in Pakistan by living a Westernized lifestyle and posting her thoughts on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Divorced from her husband, she had been nicknamed “Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian” and “Pakistan’s first social media star.”

“When Qandeel Baloch was murdered in Pakistan in 2016, I was shaken up,” Shrivastava said. “It was a heinous honor killing. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I started watching Qandeel’s videos repeatedly, and I was fascinated. She was so charming and full of life. A poor girl from a small village, who worked her way up to being provocatively famous. She was just 26 when she was killed. And ironically, it’s only after her death that she has been reclaimed as a feminist.”

Indian filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava to direct a film on the tragic death  of Pakistan's Qandeel Baloch - Entertainment News

“Qandeel’s story needs to be told by a sensitive filmmaker who is passionate about women’s stories,” Sharma said. “Alankrita is just the filmmaker for it. And not just because she is an award-winning feminist filmmaker, but because she has so much empathy for her characters. She tells their stories with candor and warmth.”

Khanna added: “Qandeel Baloch’s story is important and relevant. Even today women often continue to be at risk when they dare to express their individuality and challenge the status quo. I believe the world needs to watch stories like this.”

Shrivastava noted: “I see this film as an ode to the courageous spirit of Qandeel Baloch. It will chronicle her sensational and astonishing rise to fame. I hope to piece together the memories of the rebellious, funny and vulnerable young girl, whose life was cut short because she shimmered too bright. The film will celebrate her spunk and lust for life by telling her story without judgment, hopefully the way she would have liked to tell it.”

Recently actor Osman Khalid Butt has challenged the acquittal of Baloch’s brother in the Supreme Court (SC), Barrister Khadija Siddiqi stated on Twitter. She also termed it as a “test case”.