Tigers gains a standing ovation at Torronto international Film Festival

 Oscar-winning director, Danis Tanovic, took to the stage to resounding applause following the screening of Tigers, his new 90-minute fact-based drama, and revealed that the character played by Emraan Hashmi, called Ayan in the film, was actually in the theatre. Syed Aamir Raza, the former Nestlé formula salesman, and his wife Shafqat, took on the world’s largest food company when they realised that babies were dying as a result of aggressive marketing. They joined the director, producers and stars on stage to a standing ovation.

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) came to Aamir’s aid when he called on Nestlé to stop pushing formula and is represented in the film as ‘The HUB’. The character Maggi, played by Maryam D’Abo, is an amalgamation of several IBFANers, three of whom were at the premiere, co-writer Andy Paterson told the audience: Baby Milk Action’s Patti Rundall and Mike Brady from the UK (who also acted as consultants to the filmmakers) and Tracey Wagner-Rizvi, who worked at the IBFAN group in Pakistan.

Aamir told Baby Milk Action:

‘The mission we began in Pakistan was on a very small scale, but thanks to the filmmakers it has come into a very powerful medium to reach people all around the world. I am grateful to everyone who worked on this film and made it possible. I was not expecting that at the end of the film I would be accepted with a standing ovation. I am thankful that people love it and understand what we have been struggling to do as a family.’

Mike Brady, Baby Milk Action Campaigns Coordinator, said:

‘Co-writers Danis and Andy have done an amazing piece of work. Tigers accurately captures the tension of these true events when we were trying to bring Aamir’s evidence of marketing malpractice to public attention in a way that would keep him safe. With a deft touch they also show the power of corporations and the challenges campaigners and journalists face in exposing them. Tigers will grip you whether you are interested in the baby milk issue or not.’