Veteran director Shehzad Rafique announced his latest directorial venture Salute at Lahore's Alhamra Arts Complex on Jan 6, exactly a year after the death of Aitzaz Hassan, the child who sacrificed his life in preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school of 2,000 students in northwest Pakistan's Hangu region.
Speaking to Dawn about the film, Rafique said "Aitzaz's bravery proves that it is not only the government and the army's duty to protect our homeland but also that of of citizens".
"Aitzaz is our national hero and should be acknowledged at that level," Rafique said, adding that he intended to show the film in every school in Pakistan "in order to spread the message of faith, courage and sacrifice".
The film's assistant director Hasnat Afridi said the biopic would showcase Aitzaz Hassan's journey "from childhood to martyrdom and will feature fresh new faces along with a handful of senior actors".
"We are currently auditioning child actors," Rafique told Dawn when asked about the main character's casting.
"We don't necessarily want big names to be associated with the project; as it is a true story, it's really important for it to stay authentic," he said.
The filming of Salute will start in March and it's expected to release in May 2015.