‘Zende,’ Doc on Supercop Who Arrested Charles Sobhraj, Sets Mumbai Bow newsbhunt


“Zende,” a feature documentary about supercop Madhukar Zende, who arrested the notorious Charles Sobhraj twice, will have its world premiere at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Produced by Dora Digs Studios and directed by debutant Akshay Shah, “Zende” is one of the first Indian feature documentaries to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to recreate and regenerate some of Mumbai’s most iconic locations and moments in history.

The film follows Zende, who retired as assistant commissioner of police after a larger-than-life career, in which Sobhraj’s arrests are just a fraction. Spanning over four decades, this saga delves into the crime-ridden underbelly of Bombay, as the city was known then. Zende’s unconventional methods were driven by humanity and a commitment to real change and ranged from parading underworld dons on their knees to quelling communal riots.

“‘Zende’ isn’t just a film; it’s a journey that challenges the stereotypes we’ve grown up with. In a world where assumptions about cops and criminals often cloud our judgment, meeting this extraordinary character shattered my preconceived notions, leading me to reevaluate the essence of storytelling,” said Shah.

“Zende’ is more than a story; it’s a tribute to a supercop, a true hero without a holster, marching from the city of Bombay to Mumbai,” added co-producer Tushar Haware. “We hope Mumbaikars join us on this riveting journey, where the past comes alive, and one man’s unwavering spirit transforms not just a city, but also the hearts and minds of its people.”

Co-producers are Haware and Muskan Singhal, the creative producer is Shachi Singh, associate producers are Anuttara Pandit and Jitin Hingorani. Additional producers are Prathamesh Kamble, Nilesh Dhawde and Jitendra Kumar and the head of research and associate director is Ankur Jain.

The English-, Hindi- and Marathi-language film will have its world premiere as part of MAMI’s Focus South Asia strand on Oct. 31.


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