Adil Hussain (left) in a scene from 'Footprints on Water'

Actor Adil Hussain whose latest film ‘Footprints on Water’ has been winning accolades in several places across the globe thinks this film is a must-watch, especially for South Asian viewers.

He was recently honoured with the best actor award at the Ottawa Indian Film Festival (OIFF) in Canada for his exceptional performance in the critically acclaimed film.

‘Footprints on Water’, written by Neetha Syam and directed by Nathalia Syam, explores the story of an undocumented immigrant father living in the United Kingdom. The film follows his desperate search for his missing daughter while evading detection by the authorities. In doing so, the movie effectively sheds light on the experiences of immigrants from diverse backgrounds who arrive in the UK, filled with hope and determination to transform their lives.

Adil who plays the role of Raghu, the father of the missing girl in the film, points out that many individuals believe that by reaching the UK or the West at any cost, their lives will improve.

Adil Hussain acknowledges that those who escape political persecution have different circumstances, but those who seek a better life must be aware of the harsh reality.

“Some of them (people who migrate to the West from South Asian countries) are maybe lucky and some are not so lucky. And these kinds of topics are generally not made into films for people who live in South Asia to watch and become aware how dangerous it is,” he adds.

“So, I think this is an important film to be shown in South Asian countries. And a lot of people in the West, I mean the Caucasian people who have lived there for a very long time, are also not aware of the things.”

Thus, the Goalpara-born actor considers ‘Footprints on Water’ to be a crucial film for a reality check.

The ‘Life of Pi’ famed actor expresses his gratitude to the festival and extends his appreciation to director Nathalia Syam, writer Neetha Syam and producer Mohaan Nadaar for their contributions to his award-winning performance.

The festival’s official Twitter handle described Adil Hussain as a decorated Assamese thespian who delivered a strong and empathetic performance as a father on the brink of financial and family ruin in the film. The film also features Nimisha Sajayan, Lena, and British actor Antonio Aakeel. Shot in Birmingham, UK, as well as Fort Kochi and Kumbalangi in Kerala, the film pays tribute to those who are forced to uproot themselves from their homes for various reasons.

The jury also gave a special mention for a ‘Very Strong Debut Film’ to ‘Footprints on Water’. The film has already made its mark in several prestigious film festivals worldwide and previously won awards at the New York Indian Film Festival.

The Ottawa Indian Film Festival is Eastern Canada’s preeminent festival dedicated to Indian cinema and Indian culture. It features a competitive showcase of multi-genre Indian films, along with various events, special screenings, contests, question-and-answer sessions, and workshops. Since 2017, the festival has successfully cultivated an audience for Indian cinema and Indian culture not only in Ottawa but also throughout Canada and North America.

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