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What Will People Say
Australian Premiere
15+ (exemption)
2017 | 106 min | Drama | Norway, Germany, Sweden
Director: Iram Haq
Cast: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha
Norwegian and Urdu with English subtitles

The double life of a teenager comes crashing down when her parents send her against her will to Pakistan, in Iram Haq’s evocative, semi-autobiographical and multi-award-winning story of family, community, and culture. 

As the film opens in Norway, Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is balancing two separate lives, slipping out and enjoying the Oslo nightlife with her high-school friends while playing the dutiful daughter at home with her doting but deeply conservative parents and extended family. But when Nisha's budding relationship with a friend is discovered, her father (Adil Hussain, Life of Pi), egged on by his influential social circle, takes drastic action to protect his daughter from the “pitfalls” of life in the West. What develops is both gripping and eye-opening, and very much of-the-moment in terms of cultural relevance and the status of women in society.

Other films have dealt with characters pulled between the rules of the old country and the benefits of the new, but few achieve such levels of empathy and resonance. Beautifully directed and performed, What Will People Say will no doubt trigger emotion, conversation and debate with its relevance to the lives of Australian migrants and their families.

The kinetically shot film brims with authenticity and immediacy and benefits from a deeply sympathetic turn from sublime discovery Maria Mozhdah as the lead.
Audience Award, Special Mention – Best Nordic Film, Göteborg Film Festival 2018
Audience Award, AFI Fest 2017
Platform Prize, Toronto International Film Festival 2017
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018