Interview By: Hasti Doshi
Having an experience as a producer in the New York industry for twelve years, Sudhanshu made his directorial debut with the film ‘Loev’ which is a beautiful love story.The major praise can be directed towards the script which gives unconventional and fresh treatment of a taboo subject matter in India. We had a candid chat with Sudhanshu about his ideas as a film maker and lot more. He seems to have soulful and truthful stories to come on his way further as his choices suggests. Exrepts-
“I don’t want drama, I want there to be truth in the story which I will make sure I never lose sight on that”
You have tried your hands on film direction for first time, how was that experience?
On a film like this where resources are little I don’t really think you get a chance to really experience the fact that you are actually directing your first film. It just felt like I just a fireman standing in front of burning building and I just had to rescue everyone before it falls. So it didn’t even hit me till editing was completed and it literally felt like I was robbing a bank, so before anyone finds out I have to run away with all the cash. The whole film happened quite by accident, when I wrote the script I thought no one would like to make it, so when Bombay Berlin productions and Katharina decided to make it together I was skeptical. But things went happening; also I have been producer for 12 years in Los Angeles and New York. So I work with that industry and being a producer things have to be on time and in order. I think I am enjoying it very much now. ‘Loev’ is honestly a fairy tale; I got to make it exactly how I wanted. Also if people are scared to go and watch the film in cinemas and if they feel shy, it’s also available on Netflix.
Was it difficult to get the right cast for this film?
I thought no one would do it. When I wrote the script I thought firstly no one would finance and then no one would act in it. Also I am a first time director with no experience in this industry, suddenly come up and say I have a film no one would work. So I approached my friend casting director and asked would anyone be interested because I want a solid actor who can hold the camera for longer duration. I got few by auditions and then I got Shiv but everyone said he won’t work as he is into commercial films. So even I thought he might not but he suddenly agrees to do the film after narration. I was looking very specific so even I told Shiv to gain weight and look like the character and come out of the comfort zone.
Being a director what are the things which elements you see forward to be in your film?
I don’t know, as with every movie you grow. I hope I have diversity in my films like for me Shekhar Kapoor is an amazing filmmaker, he can make Mr. India and he can make Elizabeth. Even if I am born and brought up in India my whole background work is in Los and New York so I can talk to both the markets. I hope I get to make my Shadi Rom Com and at the same time I make such films which go to Cannes and such places. I don’t want Drama, I want there to be truth in the story which I will make sure I never lose sight on that.
‘Loev’ is a different story altogether, how did the idea of writing it came to you?
Any story worth telling comes from your life. I was going through heartbreak and so I was listening to those typical melo-dramatic songs (laughing). So I thought how long will I sit like this, I decided to take my pan and make something good out of it.
Still there are lots of places which do not accept this kind of a relationship, what is your take on that and was that the reason to show it through your film?
We are scared of what we don’t understand. Even when a kid is given food he doesn’t like he will never eat and mom tries to tell them at least try and understand what it is. It’s the same situation with us in this case. It is not required that character should be men it could be men and women or anything, but I wanted to make it men because firstly, if all genders are men you will not assign any kind of relationship to the gender but more importantly it was important for me to make this film that is not obsessed to politics of cinema. I feel that will help people to generalize it and if they see two same genders holding hands they would take it normally. Love is already very complicated and upon that we make it more by specifying things. And so I think I made it for people to understand it. It’s not a gay film it’s just a love film.
Any ongoing projects?
I came to Mumbai to make slightly bigger films but it was a little expensive so I wrote ‘Loev’. The filmmakers of ‘Mirzya’ saw my film and they were interested in what else I want to make. There are London executives they saw it and they liked it and we have a deal and so after few of my work I will start to cast for that. We need an American hero for that. But you know our business it’s so unpredictable.