Flagged off by National award winning filmmaker Sai Paranjpye and actor and United Nations Equality champion Celina Jaitly, the 6th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival took off on Wednesday May 27, 2015. South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream LGBT film festival, the festival’s theme this year is “Reaching Out, Touching hearts”, and will screen 180 films from 44 countries. And one among them is >>DOYITA (THE LOVERS)<< produced by A Perfectly Insane Entertainment and Eon Films and directed by Arpan Roy.
This is the first time that Arpan Roy’s film have been chosen to be showcased at the festival. Doyita (The Lovers) is based on a true incident about a guy named Rohit Chauhan from Kolkata. It’s a different love story between 2 guys - Rohit and Ronnie who somehow managed to stand against the stereotypical Indian orthodox society to find true love in each other’s arms. They live in a completely different world of their own, where love knows no bounds. But the fact that their relationship doesn’t have a social identity bothers Rohit and as a consequence he wants to get hitched socially to Ronnie. But Ronnie opposes him everytime as he is scared of the social stigma attached to such an announcement. Meanwhile, Rohit bumps into a woman who discloses she is Ronnie’s married wife. Does their love survive or Rohit takes some drastic steps is the essence of Doyita.
When asked how easy or difficult was it to make a film on a subject that’s gay and Arpan says, “The problem with Indian indie film-makers is that they don’t get the support and trust that they need to make a film on such a subject due to social apathy. I had pitched this subject to many producers but nobody wanted to get involved as our Indian society is still under the typical mindset that restricts and discourages homosexuality openly and blatantly. We had no other option than to move on and make the film with our own funds. The other deterring factor was midway through the film, one of the lead actors left us. But we still managed to hold hands till the end and overcome all the barriers coming our way. And our perseverance paid off and here we are today at Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival - one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festivals in the World.”
Arpan who named his production company - A Perfectly Insane Entertainment later joined hands with Eon Films to complete the project and is now all set to take the film to various film festivals across the globe. "It is indeed a proud moment that our film is showcased in the competitive category. Whether we are able to get the winning trophy or not is another matter altogether. But it is indeed incredible that we are a part of Kashish that in the last 6 years has become such a huge force that coalesces so many people into one iconic event," added Mohan Das of Eon Films. “Yes, it gives us immense pleasure and inexplicable satisfaction to see this film getting such a huge platform as Kashish when it had to undergo such struggle during its making. This makes my belief a bit more stronger - No matter what, never give up on your dreams. If you have dreamt it, achieve it,” added Arpan.
Doyita will be screened this Sunday 31st May, 2015 at the 6th edition of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival @ 12:30 pm at Liberty Cinema, Mumbai.