Award-winning Indian filmmaker Onir says that WE ARE, the upcoming sequel to his National Award-winning film I AM (2011), is a first of its kind film to explore and celebrate queer lives. Like his original film, WE ARE also includes four stories set in the same four parts of India – Kashmir, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
“This film is a celebration of queer love and life, my way of celebrating what the Supreme Court verdict means. WE ARE will break different walls in this industry. I can proudly say that when you see WE ARE, you will realise that there has not been a film like this that explores and celebrates queer lives. The film is beyond acceptance stories… its unapologetic and magnificent. the music too shall react to that spirit. Of being out and proud of who we are,” Onir said in a statement.
The film has four songs for each of the four stories, encompassing various emotions of love, desire, loss and anticipation and one theme song that is a celebration. “Pritam read the script and is creating songs according to the need of the narrative. As the music represents the community/diversity, we will be working with singers from various parts of India, including Kashmir. We will also be working with at least one queer out and proud artist,” the director said.
“My Brother Nikhil (2005) was a first in many ways, so was I AM…. and so will WE ARE,” the director said looking back at his journey.
My Brother Nikhil, starring Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri, deals with the stigma and discrimination of AIDS patients in Goa through the story of a swimmer, whose life falls apart after his diagnosis. His 2010 film I AM, again starring Juhi Chawla along with Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and Arjun Mathur, dealt with four different stories of personal struggle and identity.
Music composer Pritam said he was glad to be a part of WE ARE. “It’s amazing how Onir continues to make films that he believes in and his WE ARE is no different. And I am glad to be part of a film that is further pushing the envelope to assimilate the LGBTQI community,” the composer said.