Faraz Arif Ansari, the maker of “Sisak” — being touted as India’s first silent LGBTQ film — says though presently people are trying to bring the conversation about the community in the mainstream space, it is mostly misrepresented and misinterpreted among a majority of the people.
“I think mostly, they (filmmakers) never shown us (LGBTQ Community) as human beings. Keeping the orientation aside, we are normal. I mean just because I am gay, that doesn’t make me less of a filmmaker or writer.
“How does my (sexual) orientation have anything to do with the normalcy of life’ I think that thought needs to be brought into the mainstream cinema. LGBTQ community is misinterpreted in mainstreama,” Ansari told IANS here.
The filmmaker started writing the project in 2013 after the Supreme Court criminalised homosexuality.
“I started to write the story…. Expressed my thoughts pages after pages and once I finished writing, I realised there are no dialogues in it. I had so much to say about those characters. I did not write anything a single dialogue on them… They are silent, therefore I decided to make it a silent film. However, it took me three years to make the film completely,” he added of the short movie.
“Sisak” features Jitin Gulati and Dhruv Singhal as two men who meet in a local train compartment in Mumbai.
The film premiered at the Wicked Queer, a LGBTQ Film Festival in Boston, on April 6.
“It is the first Indian film of last 33 years, that won the Audience Choice Best Film Award there and I think it is a moment of pride and honour for all of us,” Ansari said Faraz.
“We have the screening of the film in various other international film festivals in New York, Brazil and Mexico among others,” he said ahead of the movie’s showcase at the Kashish LGBTQ Mumbai Film Festival 2017 here on Sunday.
Having grown up in a middle class background, it is a constant struggle that Ansari went through because of his sexual orientation. He faced the same when he planned to make “Sisak”.
Being a creative person, he feels that the more challenges he faced in life, he came out with flying colours creatively.
“Look at those great films from Iran, South America where people are living in poverty, a conservative society and filmmakers face challenge on censorship… The more we get narrowed as a creative person, we come out with creative explosion,” said the director.
Sharing his struggle of making the film, Ansari said: “I struggled so much to make the film, went to people for support as I wanted the story to come on mainstream space, and no one supported financially. So I put all my money that I saved, but the post-production was left.
“We went for crowd funding. Thankfully, Wishberry supported us, we raised the money and finished the film.”
Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor had launched the trailer of the film in January this year.
Overwhelmed by her support, Ansari said: “She is very very supportive. She is such a huge star who has millions of followers on social media. She put the trailer out and so many people got to know about our film. I lovingly call her Godmother… Such kind of support from mainstream people (from cinema) is always needed for the right reason.”
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at email@example.com)
By Arundhuti Banerjee