A new film about AIDS in India almost didn’t happen. Not because of funding or other issues that usually stall a project. Indian filmmaker Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) almost couldn’t find anyone to play the role of a gay character in the film. That is, until Bollywood actor Irfan Khan signed on.
According to Bollywood news website Apunka Choice, Nair’s upcoming short film The Migration will be the love story between two gay men, one older and one younger. Bollywood News quoted Nair about the issue:
“Playing a gay character for Indian actors is still quite a challenge…Irfan took on the role headlong. He has an extremely challenging part in The Migration. His fearlessness as an actor reflects in his selection of roles. The Migration is not a sweeping-under-the-carpet kind of love story. It shows an intense love between two men. And Irfan didn’t hesitate to take up the challenge."
Nair is hoping to get the 12-minute film attached to full-length Bollywood blockbusters.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Bollywood film genre, they are a very popular genre of films made in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. They are hugely elaborate love stories with heroes, lovers and villains. They feature song and dance numbers throughout—the Indian equivalent of the big studio musicals of Hollywood’s yesteryear.