SUDHANSHU SARIA ON LOEV
Posted by Vivek on March 28, 2016 | No Comments
Sudhansh’s film LOEV made its US debut at the recently concluded South By SouthWest Film Festival, in beautiful Austin. We caught up with the filmmaker
How was the reception at the South By South West?
Amazing. Given we got such a tremendous response in Mexico, where the culture is somewhat closer to India, I was not sure how we would open in Austin. But it was absolutely a packed house and the Q & A which ended inside the venue and then took off outside and finally we had to put our hands up and say we needed to be back for the night. It just kept going on and that is so encouraging.
The Austin audience is more mature than anything you might have faced?
Absolutely and that is what we were looking forward to. They are not fazed by the visual image of two men holding hands, but were evaluating the film purely as a “film,” something that engaged them or not, so to see the positive reaction was a great sign for us that the film is working as a film, and not because of sensationalism. That is how we had made the film, to start with.
So I take it you wanted to just tell a regular story, except here the love was between two male characters, hence none of the excessive overplay or underplay we generally see in Indian Gay films, almost like Bond film with a gay antagonist as Bardin was sometime back?
Absolutely I wanted to make a touching film with an interesting story, and the sexuality of the characters was more an after thought, as opposed to an in your face event. And I think as Society as we evaluate, that is where we land. Hence we don’t announce before each film that it has a male and female love interest, cause that is secondary to the overall film, similarly too here the Gay aspect is more secondary to the main story and the main story is what appears to be touching the hearts.
From the posters it is apparent we are not making a Dostana?
Absolutely, but we ride on the shoulders of the giants, so in a way a Karan’s Dostana, paved the way for this one to eventually get to the audience.
On convincing a hitherto completely commercial actor like Shiv?
I was a Coward, I thought that there is no way Shiv is going to say yes to this part. All the Casting Directors said the same, “don’t waste your time even narrating the film to him.” It was Shiv to his credit who somehow found out and said “don’t I deserve to at least know what I am being considered for?” From there on till now, he has been an integral part of this film. Not only in the acting, but completely as a teammember.
Where does it go from there?
We would love to get a global theatrical release for this film and that includes India too. Many Indian Distributors, Critics and Filmmakers have shown a lot of interest and would like to take meetings with us, so our fingers are crossed and we should be opening in Indian theaters pretty soon.