Babil Khan, the son of the Indian actor Irrfan Khan, who died last year at the age of 53, has announced his acting debut with Netflix film Qala.
Produced by Bollywood star Anushka Sharma's Clean Slate Filmz, the project will reunite the team behind Bulbbul, the award-winning 2020 Netflix film directed by Anvitaa Dutt and starring Tripti Dimri in the lead role.
Babil shared a behind-the-scenes video announcing the project on Sunday.
"Qala will be here soon to share her story of her fight for a place in her mother's heart," the young actor posted.
Dimri will return as lead in the film, which is set to focus on a daughter’s frail relationship with her mother.
"Mother-daughter relationships are sacred and often complicated," director Dutt said in a statement, as reported by the Hindustan Times. "Qala is a beautiful, heart-breaking story about a daughter who craves her mother's love. I am ecstatic to have such incredible actors on-board and cannot wait for the world to discover the film with Tripti, Babil and Swastika [Mukherjee]."
Babil, who last month received a Filmfare Award for best actor on behalf of his father for the 2020 film Angrezi Medium, had already been groomed for a career in the movies by his dad.
“One of the most important things my father taught me as a student of cinema before I went to film school, he warned me that I’ll have to prove myself as Bollywood is seldom respected in world cinema,” he once posted on Instagram.
"My father gave his life trying to elevate the art of acting. Alas, for almost all of his journey, [he] was defeated in the box office by hunks with six-pack abs.”
Irrfan, who was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, died of complications from the disease in April 2020. Known for his acclaimed roles in films such as Maqbool (2003), The Lunchbox (2013) and Talvar (2015), he was also one of the few Indian actors to make successful inroads into Hollywood. He gained international fans with films such as The Namesake (2006), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and Life of Pi (2012).
“I just want to show all my gratitude to the audience and our industry because of the warmth and love that you have hugged our family with, and all I can really say is that you and I will make this journey together and take Indian cinema to new heights, I promise,” Babil said at the Filmfare event last month while receiving his father’s award.