Bangladeshi Crime Journalist Nuruzzaman Labu wrote a book on the Holey Artisan attack in Bangladesh that inspired the Bollywood film 'Faraaz' slated for release on 3 February and has been a hot topic after its trailer went over the Internet.
"I am excited because I have a contribution to a Bollywood film. It is definitely a great honour for me," Labu told The Business Standard.
The author of 'Holey Artisan: A Journalistic Investigation', Nuruzzaman Labu shared some of his experiences with The Business Standard regarding his book and the film based on it:
It is about one day in 2019. Senior Journalist Morshed Ali Khan Bhai (brother) was looking for my book titled 'Holey Artisan: A journalistic investigation' published in 2017, which is based on the horrific terrorist attack on Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery on 1 July, 2016.
Morshed Bhai contacted me and asked for a copy of the book but it was out of stock in the market at that time. As a result, he could not get a copy of it anywhere. I didn't have an extra copy either. I collected the book from a friend and sent it to him.
After six months, Morshed Bhai called me and told me that his friend, famous Bollywood producer-director Mahesh Bhatt, had asked him for the book and that his production company Vishesh Films wants to talk to me. Morshed Bhai gave my mobile number to Vishesh Films with my consent.
After a few days, two officials of Vishesh Films in Mumbai contacted me. I had a conversation with Mukesh Bhatt's daughter Sakshi Bhatt too. I had been in regular contact with producer Sahil Saigal. They translated my book into English after collecting it. They were impressed by reading the English translation of the book.
They also praised the book as it was very informative. They said that they will make a film about the terrorist attack of Holey Artisan using the information I have penned down. They informed me that they will make a script suitable for the film and proposed for a deal on it.
I took a couple of days to think about it before finalising the deal on March 2020. When I was signed, they had not decided the name of the movie. But later, I guessed that Faraaz Hossain, who was killed in Holey Artisan attack, would be the lead character of the film, although, Faraaz's heroism is not mentioned in my book.
It is not true that the terrorists wanted to release Faraaz and he was unwilling to leave his two female friends there. There are no witnesses to this incident and none of the hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery at the time of the incident spoke of the incident. The police investigation did not find the truth of the matter either. But since it's a film and films tend to make someone the protagonist, they have presented Faraaz as a hero and I have nothing to say about this.
The film 'Faraaz' will release on 3 February. As seen in the trailer, they created a cafe set like Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan. They have also put Bangladesh police and army's commando operations in the movie. From the clothing of the militants to the style of attack, the whole issue was mentioned in detail in my book. They took everything from my book except for Faraaz's heroism.
They had a plan to shoot a part of the film in Bangladesh. The entire team was scheduled to come to Bangladesh for a week. I was also informed earlier. But it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I was signed with Vishesh Films. I already knew that Hansal Mehta was the director of the film. However, they later roped in Anubhav Sinha to produce the movie along with T-series. They had also talked to me about it, I told them that I have no objection. Finally, the movie is completed. I am excited because I have a contribution to a Bollywood film. It is definitely a great honour for me.