When was the final time you noticed an Indian film about two women falling in love with one another, and never worrying about a violent backlash from their households, and even battling self-hatred as a result of they don’t match into a homophobic world? Well, 24-year-old Aarti Neharsh’s directorial debut, a quick film titled The Song We Sang exhibits simply that and extra. The 21-minute-long film revolves across the romance between Krishna and Alia, an economist and an animator who meet in Ahmedabad throughout Navratri. Though there’s a lovely kiss within the film, viewers usually are not informed whether or not Alia and Krishna determine as lesbians, bisexual, queer, asexual, pansexual, or some other method.
The film was initially scheduled for a world premiere on the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles on 3 April, 2020, however the occasion has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Neharsh co-wrote the film’s script with Chintan Bhatt, who can be a co-producer within the challenge, together with Rahul Tejwani and Manan Bhatt of Green Chutney Films. The Song We Sang is because of be screened on the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival later this yr, adopted by a potential digital launch as effectively.
There are not any large names like Ayushmann Khurrana or Sonam Kapoor propping this film up as a pathbreaking love story, however its sincerity shines by way of. After the discharge of the film’s teaser, Firstpost spoke to Aarti Neharsh in regards to the film, its intriguing premise, and the challenges confronted in its making.
If you have been requested to explain what The Song We Sang is about, what would you say?
The Song We Sang is about exploring the power between two individuals who really feel a connection the primary time they meet. It’s the sensation you get once you trade a look with somebody in a room full of individuals and know that’s your individual, as Frances would put it in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (2012). It is a story about this risk, if given a probability.
I used to be struck by the truth that this film makes no claims about being a queer film or advocating queer rights; it merely explores what heat, affection and love can seem like when women’s tales usually are not narrated by way of a patriarchal, heteronormative gaze. What do you make of this interpretation?
I believe the film did its job if that’s the way it was acquired. It was by no means conceived as a film on sexuality. Our try was to deliver out a story about love and tenderness between two people on the lookout for various things of their lives, and discovering consolation. These emotions are human, no matter gender, and that’s wh at I needed to convey in my film. It makes no claims about being a queer film however I’m glad it provides to better illustration of women and queer relationships on display screen.
How do you place The Song We Sang in relation to different Indian movies that discover LGBTQ+ tales?
Unfortunately, there was little illustration of queer tales on display screen, particularly in India. I’ve obtained the possibility to see a few, like Shelly Chopra Dhar’s Ek Ladki ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019) and Deepa Mehta’s Fire (1996) — two movies that even have a love story between two women. But I wouldn’t put The Song We Sang into the identical class, just because it doesn’t speak about sexuality as its principal theme. The story is about love and human selections, and the probabilities that each selection entails.
What made you select Navratri as a setting for this story to play out?
I’ve grown up in Ahmedabad myself and have achieved most of my education right here. Navratri was at all times the time of the yr I used to stay up for essentially the most, greater than Diwali and all the opposite large festivals, just because this was the one time everybody could be out on the streets — flirting, laughing, consuming, simply being glad. The metropolis would come alive abruptly, and that’s distinctive for a place like Ahmedabad which is in any other case an orthodox society. I used to be by no means good at garba so, for me, Navratri was about 9 nights of simply love and liberation. I liked the considered two women strolling the streets of Ahmedabad at evening, laughing and feeling comfortable. And what higher setting than Navratri for it?
Was it essential so that you can work with a forged and crew that recognized as being from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood?
My casting director, Manashree Jani and I did ponder narrowing it right down to having a forged from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, however realised we might be ruling out a lot of fine expertise, so we stored our bracket broad. We had a pool of actresses within the age group we needed, however the main subject was the kiss between the 2 characters. Automatically, half of the women we spoke to have been out due to the kiss. It got here to a level where there have been discussions to even take away the scene from the script. That risk was dominated out instantly as we might be diluting every thing this film stands for if that scene was to be eliminated.
After eight months of rigorous auditions, we discovered Serena Walia (Krishna) and Ayushi Gupta (Alia). Their sensitivity and cooperation was all we wanted. Since each actors are heterosexual, our rehearsals included fairly a few bodily workouts with one another to do justice to the components they have been taking part in. I additionally took the script to some women who’re a part of IIM Ally, the LGBTQ+ useful resource group of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, to grasp how we might make our performances and writing higher. Later, I discovered myself a crew member who identifies as lesbian.
How do you see this film when it comes to queer women’s entry to public areas in Ahmedabad?
Women positively don’t have the identical type of alternatives that males do. I actually needed to see two women strolling the streets at evening completely unapologetically — one thing that just about by no means occurs in actuality, at the very least with me. Being a lady, it’s a dream to stroll the road at evening with out having to show again. I needed to create a world where my characters might simply immerse themselves within the conversations they have been having, really feel comfortable, and revel in their evening. Cinema, I imagine, is a nice medium to overlook in regards to the bitter truths of actuality and escape into a world where one can dream. And I needed this to be a momentary escape for all women watching this film.
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Updated Date: May 04, 2020 14:46:46 IST