Popular Indian television soap star Helly Shah is debuting in cinema with feature film “Kaya Palat” and short “Zibah.”
Inspired by the true story of rival mafias, “Kaya Palat” is a dark thriller set in Jammu, which is part of the politically volatile state Jammu and Kashmir. Principal photography has commenced on the outskirts of Jammu. The film is directed by Shoaib Nikash Shah (“Antenna”) and also stars Rahat Kazmi, Tariq Khan, Swaroopa Ghosh, Mir Sarwar and Rohil Bhatia.
“ ‘Kaya Palat’ is a story-driven film that gave me a new challenge I was looking for and [it] demands a strong performance,” Shah told Variety. “The story is very much aimed at the international market, and we are hoping it connects with a cross-cultural audience. My character is going to be very interesting, sarcastic, witty, vulnerable and so much more.”
The film is written by Rahat Kazmi and Shoaib Nikash Shah and produced by Rahat Kazmi Film Studios, Tariq Khan Films and Tera Entertainment in association with Zeba Sajid Films and Alphaa Productions. The producers plan to take the film to international film festivals and then release it on an as yet undetermined streaming platform.
Helly Shah has also completed Arunjit Borah’s short film “Zibah,” a human-rights based drama that shines a light on the cruelty that is endured by young children in the sub-continent. “Cinema is there for entertainment, but I have always believed that films have the power to highlight important social causes and make a positive change. That is what made me want to be part of this project,” said Shah.
Both “Kaya Palat” and “Zibah” are due for release this year.
Shah debuted in Star Plus daily soap “Zindagi Ka Har Rang…Gulaal” in 2011 at the age of 15. The title role in another Star series, “Alaxmi: Hamari Super Bahu” (2012), catapulted Shah to television stardom. Since then, she has starred in “Swaragini: Jodein Rishton Ke Sur” (2015-16) on Viacom18’s Colors TV, which ran for 469 episodes; Star’s 177-episode “Sufiyana Pyaar Mera” (2019); and the 313-episode “Ishq Mein Marjawan 2” (2020) on Colors. Most recently, Shah starred in Indian pop star Kaka’s “Ik Kahani” music video, which has notched up 21 million views on YouTube.
Shah has won several acting honors at the Indian Television Academy Awards and the Gold Awards. She has a strong social media presence with over five million Facebook subscribers, 3.4 million Instagram followers and multiple fan clubs on Twitter.
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