Filmmaker Onir has turned all his attention to creating the sequel of his National Award-winning film, I Am, and has roped in actor Kubbra Sait for one segment. Titled We Are, the sequel will weave together four different aspects of queer life through four stories from different cities.
“I’ve finished scripting the project, and started the casting process. Kubbra will be seen opposite actor Nimisha Sajayan,” reveals Onir while talking about the follow up of his 2011 film.
Reflecting on Sait’s casting, he says, “I won’t go into much detail right now. But for me, it’s a very special character. She’s playing role of a girl who’s closeted, and is outed without a consent. The story will explore what happens after that.”
Onir’s critically acclaimed, I Am, narrated four stories strung together with the common theme of fear, with actors such as Juhi Chawla, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Sanjay Suri and Radhika Apte driving forward the narrative.
For the sequel, he’s not losing the essence of his idea, but infusing more shades of the pride community. The filming is scheduled to start in September.
“It’s set in the four same cities, I Am was shot — Kashmir, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The Kashmir segment will be shot in Gurez. Also, this time, I’m using regional languages, real trans woman and drag artists, which will make it an Indian film, not just Bollywood,” asserts the 52-year-old, who has co-written the script with Canadian lesbian filmmaker Fawzia Mirza.
In fact, he has included various shades of gender and sexuality into the stories, which explores bisexuality, trans culture and lesbian as well as gay relationship.
“It celebrates the Supreme Court verdict on Section 377, but also is a critique of what we are facing right now. For example, recently the government opposed same sex marriage,” says the director.
According to Onir, the film will “celebrates queer life and love from our perspective”.
“I’m not thinking about who’ll be comfortable with what, but just making a film with stories that I hope will touch everybody,” he says, wrapping by giving a potential logline of his project, Love Reigns.