Oscar-winning director Jeffrey D Brown’s Hollywood movie ‘Sold’, a hard-hitting child trafficking drama based on a novel by Patricia McCormick, has already started receiving global attention after it opened at the 5th London Indian Film Festival and the film’s 13-year-old protagonist, a city girl, Niyar Saikia, is equally elated to share the limelight.
A Class IX student of a private school in Guwahatui, Niyar is playing the role of a trafficked child, Lakshmi, from Nepal, who is sold off to a brothel in Kolkata. Niyar was selected for the role after casting director Tess Joseph auditioned more than 1,000 girls in Nepal and India. “Niyar has a rare combination of profound intelligence, presence and grace. She is incredibly happy and still a child and yet can plummet into the depths of despair and sadness with her amazing acting abilities,” said Joseph.
The film portrays the lives of these ill-fated girls who fall prey to poverty in the trade. Though it’s a great feeling, Niyar is also really worried about the plight of trafficked children of her age. “It’s really a great feeling to play the protagonist in the project. It was a challenge for me to perform as I was not much aware about the subject. But once I met some of the victims, I was very said,” Niyar said.
She also participated in a workshop to prepare for the role. “I was determined to do it in the best possible way and help them,” she added. Before this, Niyar has acted in a number of Assamese films, though she is more interested in theatre. After completing the film she is pretty impressed with the crew of ‘Sold’.
“The striking characteristic of Brown and his unit is that they are extremely disciplined and so dedicated towards their work. They work so professionally and it motivates everybody to give the best performance. They have been so friendly and helpful,” said Niyar.
Now, with Niyar giving an acclaimed performance in ‘Sold’, her parents believe they have to groom their daughter in a better way. Sonagachi in Kolkata, that becomes the principal location of the film, is one of the largest red-light districts in the world.
-Times of India