His films often depict the struggles and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community but Onir says his next feature, We Are, will have a happy ending.
He says the film is a sequel to his National Award-winning feature I Am, where each of the four stories focused on the LGBTQ community.
“I am planning a film called We Are, which is the sequel of I Am, and it will be a celebration of LGBT love. And each story will have a happy ending. It is set in the present and after the recent Supreme Court ruling.
“I want to make four love stories. There will be one gay, one lesbian, one transgender and one straight story. All of them will be interconnected and based in four cities. These will be telling love stories where situations are impossible but at the same time things end on a hopeful note,” Onir told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of Jagran Film Festival.
He believes a long-lasting change in the film industry regarding the LGBTQ stories will only come when people start accepting them in real life.
“I won’t say that it’s changed overnight because it has not. Society has to change first because the industry is about box office and box office will accept LGBT films when the society at large starts. But there’s a huge digital world opening up, so you have series like Made In Heaven and I also heard that Ayushmann will be playing a gay character in his next,” the director says.
While Onir welcomes films such as Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, he does not think that the film takes the LGBTQ narrative forward.
He says, “I loved that film with Sonam but it does not actually carry the narrative forward. It is what has been done before and I have seen this 10 years ago. So I want to see stories which take it forward and portray things in same way heterosexual relationships are told where people are kissing. The same thing should happen in such stories. It should not be like when two person hug, then it is a reluctant one. So that is how things will normalise, it won’t happen overnight. But because of the digital space, I think people are slowly changing and opening up to talk.”
The director says it is unfortunate that films with LGBTQ story are stereotyped as a ‘gay love story’ and not just a love story.
“People like to box people. And for the longest time, I accepted that box because I feel that there were very few people willing to give a voice to my community and I would rather be that voice than hide because I have nothing to hide. But I think we are full of people with double standards, who are very fast to tag you, but can’t accept their own identity,” he says.
Onir believes when the society evolves, it will no longer distinguish between movies.
“When the society has evolved, then you will not have this. Why do we have film festivals which celebrate films made by women, because for years and years, for centuries, they have been discriminated with. At some point, you need to create the space for them. Today’s there is a Kashish Film Festival in Mumbai, which, shows LGBTQ films because there is no other space.
“So when the society evolves and becomes much more inclusive, then you don’t need a separate space,” he adds.
The director is presenting his documentary Widows of Vrindavan at the festival.
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