Sarwat Gilani Headlines Zindagi-Applause Partnership Opener ‘Farar’

“Joyland” star Sarwat Gilani headlines “Farar,” the first project under the Applause Entertainment-Zindagi South Asian content partnership unveiled by Variety recently.

The six-part series will premiere at the 14th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival on Sept. 23. Directed by New York-based Mehreen Jabbar (“Jurm”) and written by Rida Bilal (“Zakham”), the series follows three women, bound by friendship and driven by secrets and dreams, who yearn for an escape that could alter the course of their lives. Sabrina, a widowed hairdresser in a complex relationship; Tanya, an aspiring actor battling body image issues; and Huma, a resolute track and field runner facing marriage pressures hustle, thrive and survive as they navigate the frenzied, bustling city of Karachi, Pakistan.

The partnership between prolific Indian studio Applause Entertainment and Zindagi, the Indian subcontinent-focused programming block on streamer ZEE5 Global, is set up to create South Asian-themed content from across the subcontinent. Zindagi’s “Barzakh” bowed at Series Mania earlier this year.

Gilani was one of the leads in Oscar-shortlisted “Joyland,” which bowed at Cannes in 2022, and also starred in Zindagi’s “Qatil Haseenaon Ke Naam” (2021) and “Churails” (2020). Starring alongside her are Mariam Saleem (“Ek Jhoothi Love Story”) and Maha Hasan (“Jurm”).

“Farar” is produced by Shailja Kejriwal, chief creative officer of special projects at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, and Umnia Iftikhar (“The Desert Journey”), who will attend the world premiere along with Gilani and Jabbar.

Gilani said: “As an actor, being part of ‘Farar’ has been an incredible journey of exploration and dedication. This show is not just a story for us; it’s a piece of our souls, a representation of the rich emotions that connect us as humans.”

Jabbar added: “In a time marked by divisions and jingoism, it is truly heartwarming to see the convergence of two of the world’s largest South Asian nations, uniting in celebration of the art of storytelling.”

Kejriwal said: “With ‘Farar’ as the first web series by Applause Entertainment and Zindagi, we aim to create and deliver real South Asian stories inspired by modern life and finally break the taboos and preconceived notions about it for the world to witness.”

Iftikhar said: “This show is a labor of love, a convergence of passion and storytelling. We hope ‘Farar’ resonates with the universal emotions that bind us all.”

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