In a move that lends weight to Bollywood’s welcome trend toward star-driven movies focused on women’s issues, Sony Pictures Entertainment has partnered with Prernaa Arora and Arjun Kapoor’s KriArj Entertainment for the Akshay Kumar-starring social drama, Padman.
Sony has now committed to handling the worldwide distribution of Padman, which is scheduled to release in theatres in India and around the world on January 26th, 2018.
In the upcoming film, which was written and is being directed by R. Balki (Cheeni Kum, Paa), Akshay Kumar portrays the real-life social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, the inventor who risked everything, including his own reputation, to invent low-cost and easily accessible sanitary napkins for the underprivileged women in India and around the world.
Over the course of many years, Muruganantham dedicated himself to solving a massive problem of women’s hygiene in developing countries, which was instrumental in overcoming India’s taboo of discussing menstruation by using himself as a test subject for his sanitary pads, sacrificing his reputation and his family’s respect in the process. But he ultimately prevailed, inventing a cheap mini-machine that can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, and subsidize their nation-wide distribution. In 2014, TIME magazine placed him on its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Akshay Kumar and KriArj Entertainment have also had their own previous success with films focused on critical social issues. RUSTOM in 2016 & now their 2017 hit Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
Sanford Panitch, President of Sony’s Columbia Pictures division, said of Kumar, “Akshay is the rarest of artists [who has] found a way with this film to make a wonderfully affecting and heart-warming movie that also can impact social change.”
Vivek Krishnani, Managing Director of Sony Pictures Entertainment, India added, “We are indeed excited to partner with Akshay, Mrs. Funnybones Movies and KriArj Entertainment on PadMan—it’s a film that’s bound to make every Indian proud because it celebrates a true indigenous inventor and innovator who brought a massive social change.”
Arjun N Kapoor of KriArj Entertainment, sums it up saying, “This film will be path-breaking in more ways than one and we believe that if there are stories that deserve to be told, this one tops the list. We couldn’t have had better creative forces combined than Balki, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna to portray this extraordinary tale of an ordinary man.”
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