Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘i am omar

KISS AND TELL: Rahul Bose and (right) Arjun Mathur
Rahul Bose-Arjun Mathur do first gay love scene in Bollywood

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 7, 2009)

Madhur Bhandarkar had shot a gay kissing sequence in a car between Samir Soni and his screen lover for Fashion and deleted it even before it went to the censor board. But for his film I Am Omar, Onir is determined to keep the first gay love-making scene between the ever-adventurous Rahul Bose and the upcoming Arjun Mathur (seen in Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance and Farhan Akhtar’s short film on AIDS, Positive).
Onir feels the sensitive sequence may be unnecessarily sensationalised but has to be retained because the film doesn’t work without it. Explains Onir, “Arjun plays a sex worker. So we couldn’t do away with the physical aspect of the gay issue.”
The sequence has the actors making out in a public place. Abhimanyu Singh (seen in Anurag Kashyap’s Gulal) plays a homophobic cop who chances on the couple and harasses them. Says Onir, “Luckily none of my actors had any inhibitions. Rahul and Arjun did the scene which goes much beyond anything seen in Indian cinema. They behaved like thorough professionals.” Now he hopes the censor board would be just as professional. While Rahul, who had done Indian cinema’s first and only gay gangrape sequence in Bom-gay, refrains from comment, Arjun who wants to explore the dark side of sexuality, says, “For me as an actor it is always challenging to see what lies beneath the calm exteriors. I had absolutely no inhibitions playing the gay character and doing the kissing sequence with Rahul. I wondered what it would feel like. But it was done clinically and professionally.”
Adds Onir, “We haven’t taken any still pictures of the kissing because we don’t want it leaked out on the net. The whole idea is to look at the question of homosexuality in a proper perspective and not to highlight any specific aspect of it.” Onir’s film I Am (of which I Am Omar is one part) now goes to Rotterdam Film Festival.
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SUBHASH K JHA (Mid-Day; August 7, 2009)

Unable to gather sufficient funds for five different films, filmmaker Onir has decided to merge the five films and release it as one. The film’s budget is approximately Rs 1.5 crore. He made My Brother Nikhil four years ago at the same budget.

Own your film

The filmmaker is using unconventional funding to make this film. He announced on Facebook that anyone could own their new film called I Am. There was an avalanche of volunteer producers. At last count, they had 300-350 producers. The entire crew will be paid only when the film gets sold.

Says Onir, “It started with my determination to make a film called You & I on child abuse. No producer or corporate house was willing to back the project. They didn’t find it a ‘safe’ project. Sanjay Suri came up with the idea of doing five different films in one, all financed by different people.

I decided to go for an unusual form of funding and extend the ideas of identity and the fear of sustaining that identity in a world of cynicism and intolerance. Five different stories will be released as one film in India.”

The most interesting part of this cinematic experiment is that they’re all based on the brutalisation of true characters who will make an appearance at the end of each  segment. Each film will be shot in a different city Mumbai, Delhi, Srinagar and Kolkata. Each character is culture-specific to the city. Every story has a contemporary resonance.”

Hum 5!
1. I Am Omar
Starring: Rahul Bose, Abhimanyu Singh, Saahil Saigal, it’s about article 377, the nexus between sex workers and cops. To be shot in Mumbai from August 15
2. I Am Afia
Starring: Kalki and possibly Arjun Mathur. About misappropriation of NGO funds. To be shot in Delhi
3. I Am Abhimanyu
Starring: Sanjay Suri, Radhika Apte, Anurag Kashyap, Rahul Bose, Pooja Gandhi. About child sexual abuse already shot in Bangalore
4. I Am Megha
Starring: Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri. Story of two women in Kashmir, one a Kashmiri Pundit, the other Muslim. To be shot in Srinagar from Oct 1
4. I Am Rudra
Starring: Purab Kohli. About the Maoist movement. To be shot in Kolkata


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