Creating Awareness about Homosexuality through 'Dunno Y...'

By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, Oct 10 (IANS) Debutant director Sanjay Sharma, whose film on homosexual relationships "Dunno Y...Na Jaane Kyun" is facing censor trouble, says his main aim is to make people aware that there's nothing abnormal about one being homosexual.

"Through this film I wanted to bring out the relationship between these characters. How they feel, their emotions... My aim is not to make fun of them. It was a big challenge for me dealing with this subject. I'm happy that at least I gave it a shot," Sharma, whose film has been screened at a few international film festivals, told IANS in an interview.

The first-time director, who has also roped in yesteryears actresses Zeenat Aman and Helen in key roles, insists he didn't choose the topic knowing it would stir controversy. "I just did my best. I think I've made a very emotional and sensitive film and I hope people understand this."

"I want to send a message through my film that homosexuals are also human beings. They are not abnormal. So people shouldn't see them with a different perspective. Like we love, even they love. It's very important to create this awareness," Sharma added.

Written by the director's brother Kapil Sharma, who is also acting in the film, "Dunno Y...Na Jaane Kyun" tells the story of a serious relationship between two men. The film also stars Yuvraj Parashar, Helen, Zeenat Aman, Rituparna Sengupta, Kabir Bedi, Tara Sharma and Asha Sachdev among others.

"I was working on some other subject but my younger brother Kapil showed me a script that he wrote. When I read it, I totally loved it; so I thought I should leave the first one and start with this. The entire credit of bringing out this subject goes to Kapil," said Sharma.

The film has been showcased at the Trikone Queer Film Festival (Australia), I View (New York) and Indian Film Festival of London but faces some problems with the censor board in India that wants a few scenes deleted before it releases Oct 29.

"Right now the issue is with the revising committee. They want us to delete some portions, but according to me they are important for the film. So we are trying to convince them. No final decision has been taken till now," director Sharma explained.

What made him get two yesteryears actresses - Zeenat Aman and Helen - on board?

"Zeenat Aman fitted the role very well. When we were scripting the film, the first thing that came to our mind was to approach her for this role... because if your casting is right, 50 percent of your job is done," Sharma said.

"The kind of role that Helen is playing in this film is something I don't think she has played before. She is playing a grandmother and her character has a lot of substance.

"She read the script... and she liked her role. Even though she is 70 plus, she is very active, very punctual and disciplined," he added.

So didn't he try getting known actors for the lead roles as well?

"No I didn't. Firstly because the two newcomers have no image, they didn't come with a burden attached to them. Secondly, normally if I had gone to an established actor, he might have had reservations about doing this role.

"These two (Kapil and Yuvraj) have worked really hard and their chemistry in the film is so good...I wanted to make it look real. I didn't want caricature characters," Sharma said.


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