For the first time the very sexy Demi Moore will be seen in an Indian film. In Tabrez Noorani’s Love Soniya, Ms Moore plays an activist. While the nature of her part is being kept under wraps, she is apparently playing the role of a strong reformist who helps rescue victims of human trafficking.
Tabrez says it was relatively easy to get Demi Moore on board. “It wasn’t that difficult at all. Demi has been involved in campaigns against human trafficking for years and has her own non-profit organization called “Thorn” which helps such victims. She loved the script and was happy to play the part of the social worker.”
Another American actor Mark Duplas, plays a wealthy man who encounters the protagonist Sonia (Riya Sisodia) in LA. Says Tabrez, “He was a delight to work with as well. Both Demi and Mark shot in LA and we are done with the entire shooting now. It was an amazing but difficult shoot and now have started editing.”
Tabrez Noorani can’t believe his good fortune. “I’ve waited 12 years to make Love Soniya. The subject, human trafficking, is very close to my heart. I’ve researched, visited brothels, even rescued sex workers from the flesh trade with the help of NGOs. This is the film I’ve always wanted to direct.” But something or the other always stopped Tabrez. “In 2007 I was all set to start my dream project when Slumdog Millionaire came up, Then again when I was all set to start my film when I was asked to be line producer for Life Of Pi, then Eat Pray Love…”
Finally Tabrez’s directorial dream has fructified. Says the ecstatic first-time director, “To have a producer of David Womark’s stature back me in my directorial debut, and that too in a film about sex trafficking in Hindi, is an amazing break for me.”
Tabrez feels not much justice has been done to the theme of human trafficking in cinema. “The only significant film I’ve seen on human trafficking is Lukas Moodysson’s Lilia Forever. Otherwise Indian films on the theme like Nagesh Kukunoor’s Laxmi and Pradeep Sarkar’s Mardaani do not have the bandwidth to make a broad impact.”
Though Tabrez has serious creative reservations about a commercial Hollywood film like Taken he is pleased by the reach of the film. “The message of human trafficking went far in Taken. I’d want my film to have the same reach,” Tabrez is joyous about getting all the actors he wanted.
Says Tabrez, “Freida, Richa Chadha and two new absolutely fabulous actresses Mrunal Thakur and Riya Sisodia…they’ve all surrendered to my script from the moment they came on board. No money was discussed. And I can’t begin to describe Manoj Bajpai’s level of commitment to the project.”