San Sebastian 2014
Two filmmakers return from a research trip to Pakistan, troubled by inconsistencies in the story they are writing. They ask their subject, Ayan - a young Pakistani salesman - to tell his story to their financiers’ lawyer, on the record. If his story is true, and he can prove it’s true, they can make the film. If not, the huge corporation whose methods they are attacking, could destroy them.
Ayan’s story begins with his marriage to the beautiful Zainab. Seeing him struggle to sell unbranded local pharmaceuticals, she persuades him to try for a job with a prestigious multinational - Lasta Foods, known for their infant formulas. To his amazement, and despite his lack of a college diploma, he’s hired. It’s a dream come true for a common local boy without a college degree. Ayan takes Lasta’s fighting tiger attitude training to heart and his “growl” gets stronger everyday. He uses all his skills – and incentives – to persuade doctors and other health professionals to recommend his products. Soon he’s the star salesman and life is good. A son is born and soon another child is on the way.
Until Faiz, one of Ayan’s new doctor friends, reveals a startling truth: Most of his patients don’t have access to clean water. They mix infant formula in filthy water and give it to their babies, who get diarrhoea. Or because it’s so expensive they dilute it and malnutrition follows. Breastfeeding would pass on natural immunities but mothers are persuaded to use formula instead. These babies are dying because of Ayan’s work.
Devastated, Ayan visits a slum area and sees unsafe water being used everywhere. He is a father himself; he must stop these babies from dying. He is shocked that his Lasta supervisor is aware of everything, but simply blames the government for not solving the water problem. He mocks Ayan for complicating his good life for nothing. Ayan quits his job and vows to divulge the scandal behind the corporation’s infant milk formula…
Devastated when he discovers the effects of the infant formula he's peddling, a young salesman takes on a multinational corporation, in this based-on-fact drama from Academy Award-winning director Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land).
Writer-director Danis Tanovich explores the power of multinationals, the media and ethics in a finely crafted true-life story… The salesman who blew the whistle on the baby food scandal in Pakistan becomes an inspiring story of personal courage portrayed by popular young Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi… How far an ordinary man will go to stop a grave injustice must be one of the seven great movie plots, and Danis Tanovich’sTigers leaps into the sub-genre with passionate indignation.
— Deborah Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER