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Source: Fae Pictures

[L-R] Onir, Shant Joshi

Shant Joshi’s Canada-based Fae Pictures is joining forces with Indian director Onir’s Anticlock Films on LGBTQ-themed feature We Are, which is being set up as an India-Canada co-production.

Onir is directing and co-writing the feature with Fawzia Mirza (Signature Move). Anticlock’s Sanjay Suri is producing with Onir and Joshi, in association with Baby Daal Productions. Production is expected to start in late 2021 or early 2022.

The two companies describe the project as a “symbolic sequel” to Onir’s award-winning 2011 anthology film, I Am, comprising four LGBTQ-themed stories from four corners of the South Asian subcontinent.

Onir’s credits also include My Brother Nikhil (2004), distributed by Yash Raj Films, which was one of the first mainstream Indian features to tackle a LGBTQ-themed story head on.

Mirza’s debut feature Signature Move, which she co-wrote, produced and stars in, premiered in SXSW, received wide festival play and won 14 awards.

“This film aims to celebrate the Supreme Court verdict of 2018 decriminalising homosexuality in India and elevate queer love stories,” said Onir. “As an out and proud filmmaker, I feel great for having found the right partners for the film, with an aligned vision to increase the visibility for queer narrative across the world.”

“The Fae Pictures team and I are excited to be working with a filmmaker as prolific as Onir,” said Joshi. “His work with films like My Brother Nikhil and I Am has broken ground for queer representation in South Asian cinema.”

Joshi, a queer Indo-Canadian producer based in Los Angeles and Toronto, also announced two short films on the Fae Pictures’ slate – Teyama Alkamli’s coming-of-age story Jala, which is premiering at the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (December 4-12), and Mirza’s Noor & Layla, about a relationship between two Muslim women, currently in post-production and financed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.