Courtesy : Onir Instagram
Filmmaker Onir has pretty much spawned a career of making films that end up being the boldest of subjects and invite the most amount of controversies. Best known for his films, My Brother Nikhil and I Am, the director is currently working on his next film, We Are which is said to be a sequel to I Am.
However, the film has been in news after one of the scripts from the four-part anthology was rejected by the Ministry of Defence last month for showing the character of an officer as gay. The film is based on ex-army officer Major J Suresh’s life, who quit the army as he felt he was not leading an honest life there.
Unaffected by it, Onir has sent a fresh appeal to the ministry explaining the script in detail, and why he should be allowed to go ahead with the film. Talking about it with ETimes, Onir talked about how did he convince the Ministry otherwise with a fresh appeal, "I have appealed to the Defence Secretary stating that this story, though based on a real person, Major (retd) J Suresh, is simply inspired by him. I have emphasised that this is my constitutional right, and that the Supreme Court has decriminalised Section 377 and we need to have discourse about diversity too. I have also mentioned that the film does not move away from our culture. My appeal states that as a filmmaker, I shouldn’t be stopped from addressing this topic. It is not fair in a democratic country."
Talking about if he got any support from the peers financially or otherwise, he said, "Nobody from the film fraternity has come forward to support me yet. From the LGBTQIA+ community, many people are saying they will help crowd fund the project. But it’s a tiresome process and there are many complications involved. As of now I’m trying to get clearance for the script. If that doesn’t happen, then I will look for other ways to tell this story. This story will take the audience towards more acceptance and awareness. And it will also show how difficult it is for people to live with their identity, and the emotions they go through. That is the whole purpose of the film."
When asked if he sees a difference in the way new age films touch upon representation from the LGBTQIA+ community, he said, "We have certainly come a long way from being caricaturish, to having real characters. But we still have straight actors portraying queer characters. Today, we have many out and proud artists like Sushant Divgikr who can take up such roles. It is important for us to start empowering the people that we are talking about. That is the bigger step towards diversity and inclusion."
We hope things get sorted and Onir is able to tell the story he wants to.