In a new film, Indo-Canadian filmmaker Aashish Chanana explores “western paranoia over radical Islam while preserving the innocence of the nonviolent Muslims.”
“Afreen” is a suspenseful drama that addresses the global threat of Islamic extremism through the eyes of a traumatized Iraq War refugee who swears revenge upon the West, but eventually finds herself torn about her ultimate ‘bloody’ decision.
The film stars Samantha Kressevich, Kyle Cheesman, Raffi Atamian, Farhan Mohammed, Ashwin Maharaj, Richard Cole, Sarah Hoxie, Vince Groulx, and Rae Rondeau.
“Afreen,” according to a press release, “reveals disturbing ISIS activities in the heart of the modern West, showing just how close the people of Toronto came to suffering a 9/11-level catastrophe,” and also sheds light on the life of the troubled young woman at the very center of the terror plot.
The 9/11-level catastrophe that the film reportedly seems to showcase is how Oct. 22, 2016, a suicide bombing by ISIS, targeting the famed Eaton Centre shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, was narrowly thwarted, with one suspect being killed.
“I would consider ‘Afreen’ one of my most important and difficult projects to date,” said Chanana. “The film explores the western paranoia over radical Islam while preserving the innocence of the nonviolent Muslims. We’ve tried to show both perspectives without being biased or taking sides.”
“It’s ironic that no one is right, while they aren’t wrong either! But at the end of the day, is war the ‘end-all?’ No… never. The answer lies in communication and there cannot be any without mutual respect. Tough, but the only solution,” he added.
The film, which was officially selected as the ‘Best Film’ at the Canadian Diversity Film Festival, was also nominated for the ‘Best Film,’ ‘Best Actor,’ and ‘Best Actress’ awards at the Madrid International Film Festival.
Chanana, who has directed and produced films like “Dreams…Do Come True” and “Majnoon” in the past, has also starred in a few Bollywood films such as the 1986 film, “Aag Aur Shola,” and the 1991 film, “Mehandi Ban Gai Khoon.” He also did VFX for films like “Lage Raho Munnabhai,” among others.