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EXCLUSIVE: Anand Pandit on mainstream actors playing LGBTQ characters, “Our films will continue to embrace LGBTQ concerns”

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: Anand Pandit on mainstream actors playing LGBTQ characters, “Our films will continue to embrace LGBTQ concerns”

Producer Anand Pandit looks at the positive trends in the Indian film industry in recent times.

When Bollywood was struggling with the aftershocks of the pandemic, its very existence was being challenged by locked theatres, production delays and devastating losses. But 2023 proved the naysayers wrong by creating box-office records and showed that even in the era of OTT domination, cinema cannot just thrive but also break new ground. In fact, the presence of OTT content has challenged the industry to go beyond mere commercial constraints to explore storytelling from a new perspective.

EXCLUSIVE: Anand Pandit on mainstream actors playing LGBTQ characters, “Our films will continue to embrace LGBTQ concerns”

As Bollywood is undergoing a transformative phase, producer Anand Pandit exclusively shared his views with Bollywood Hungama on some liberal trends that are taking place in the films of today.

He listed down the example of the biggest hit of last year Jawan that saw a collaboration between Bollywood and south Industry. He pointed out that the same happened with Sriram Raghavan’s Merry Christmas in recent times. “We will see many such unique combinations and permutations of talent in the time to come. A magical alchemy happens when minds from diverse disciplines—filmmakers, writers, actors, cinematographers, production designers, and composers—converge and coalesce distinct perspectives,” he said.

In fact, Pandit himself has been regularly dabbling into regional cinema in recent years. “As a producer, I am also backing not just Hindi projects but also films in Kannada, Gujarati and Marathi. Many others are also breaking free from language and cultural constraints and our cinema is truly becoming Indian as it embraces multiple cultural and regional influences,” he said.

The trend of female centric films started little over a decade ago. Pandit is happy to see it still in vogue and growing. “In the past few years, we have seen films like Sherni, Raazi, Thappad, Tumhari Sulu, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Gangubai Kathiawadi where women steered the narratives,” he said. “Some of my favourite films this year were also led by women, including Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway, which depicted the misery of an Indian mother who is forcibly separated from her children by Norwegian authorities. Dhak Dhak, a road film starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanjana Sanghi topped viewership ratings on Netflix.”

He added, “Avinash Arun’s acclaimed Three Of Us, is a poignant narrative revolving around a woman who is struggling with early dementia and revisits her hometown to excavate the buried memories of her first love. I look forward to more such films where women will be portrayed as they are; complex, multi-layered and brimming with lived stories.”

Pandit is also pleased to see the exploration of LGBTQ themes and that too by mainstream actors. “In 2023, one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema, Mammootty starred in his own production Kaathal – The Core, a small-budget film about forbidden love, homosexuality and the aftermath of a broken marriage. That a cinematic icon, known for larger-than-life portrayals, not only starred as a closeted gay character but also backed a small but incredibly powerful film shows that the Indian film industry is truly coming of age,” he said.

Citing another example, he said, “In Vishal Bhadwaj's OTT thriller Khufiya, Tabu played a gay operative of the Indian spy agency RAW who is grieving the loss of her lover. Another A-list star Vidya Balan also played a gay protagonist in the 2023 release Neeyat and this is a sign that our films will continue to embrace LGBTQ concerns even in the future.”

While talking about the recent current success, it is impossible to not mention Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Vikrant Massey starrer 12th Fail. Although the film is generally considered a surprise hit, Anand Pandit is not at all surprised with its success. “Based on the grit, resilience and determination of Manoj Kumar Sharma, a rural youth who spent years trying to crack the UPSC exam before being selected for the Indian Police Service struck a chord with millions, showing that even among big-budget entertainers, our cinema also has space for well-told intimate stories. My situational comedy Tron Ekka went on to become the second highest grossing Gujarati film of all time. The success of such films indicate that good content will never lose its relevance in cinema,” he said.

Also Read: Bramayugam Trailer: Mammootty challenges to play a game where the stakes are as high as death in this horror thriller

More Pages: 12th Fail Box Office Collection , 12th Fail Movie Review


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