Onir, whose film, I Am, bagged two National Awards recently, has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival to be part of the CNC Producers Network that takes place between May 17 and 24. “It’s a prestigious annual event and usually people pay to be part of it. But Sanjay (co-producer Sanjay Suri) and I have been invited to attend a special session and our entire trip is sponsored,” he says.
This year, the filmmakers will discuss and try to pitch their three films currently in production —Chauranga, Coach Kameena and Shab. Onir adds, “They will fix up one-on-one meetings with important filmmakers from Europe. That’s a huge bonus for an independent production company like ours that’s trying to get into the world cinema space and get funding from aboard.”
Chauranga, which uses a love story to highlight the upper-lower caste divide, will begin its shoot schedule on June 15. “We are already in talks with a German production house but maybe the Network can get us a co-producer from France too for this film.”
He hopes to also find funding for Coach Kameene, an inspirational sports film set in Punjab that takes off mid-August this year and is also expected to be completed in a month.
While both these films are being directed by debutants Bikas Mishra and Ashwini Malik, Shab, set in Delhi, will be directed by Onir himself. “It (the shoot) will start in mid-October. The story revolves around a gigolo and a call girl,” he says, pointing out that all these films will be made partly with crowd-funding. “We’d like all those 400 co-producers, who are celebrating I Am’s National Awards, to continue to be part of our journey.”