IN­TER­VIEW

India Today - - LEISURE -

Why did you de­cide to make a film about a man com­ing out as gay?

I didn’t want to make an ‘out­spo­ken’ film. I thought, if this is nor­mal, why can’t ev­ery­thing in the film be nor­mal? A sim­ple ghar ghar ki ka­hani. So I de­cided to fo­cus on how peo­ple come out—the pres­sures they feel. I had to find a unique way to show that; I chose cook­ing.

Where did the im­age of the mer­men come from?

I wanted to por­tray some kind of ex­plicit sex­u­al­ity be­tween two men. It was im­por­tant not to shy away from it. You have to help your au­di­ence grow. But frontal nu­dity would have been too much, so I thought of the mer­men.

How did you put the film to­gether?

Through Ketto.org I raised around Rs 2.5 lakh, but it wasn’t enough.

AU­TEUR

Ab­hishek Verma, the artist be­hind Maacher Jhol

The project stalled for a while, but then I de­cided to leave my job and fo­cus on the film. I brought in a friend who was an ex­pe­ri­enced line pro­ducer, and he took charge of the process. I did 7,000 to 8,000 draw­ings over­all for the film—but that was be­cause I wasn’t happy with it and re­drew about half.

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