London: Savouring the sweet success of their film, Hope and a Little Sugar, director Tanuja Chandra and actress Mahima Chaudhry were in London over the weekend.
After rave reviews on the festival circuit and a Best Feature Film award at New York's South Asian Film Festival, the duo brought their film to London's BAFTA. It was the opening film at the Tongues On Fire festival celebrating Asian women.
Mahima, who makes a big-screen comeback after a long hiatus, said, ”It’s very topical – when you lose hope, you lose the will to live.”
Set against the backdrop of 9/11 in New York, the film is about a young Sikh widow played by Mahima, who shares a close friendship with a Muslim photographer, played by debutant Amit Sial. Their friendship grows into romance much to the disapproval of Mahima's father-in-law played by Anupam Kher.
It’s Tanuja's first film in English and is an American production.
“From production point of view, this film was an 'arranged marriage'. I met the American producers for the first time when I landed with my crew of 25 to shoot! And then we were thrown into this intimate process of making a movie, so there was tension, adrenaline rushes, which helps in making a movie on time,” said Chandra.
Tongues of Fire’s Festival Director, Pushpinder Chowdhry agreed with the film’s topicality.
“It’s how Asians abroad responded to the (9/11) tragedy and what impact it had on them,” he said.
The film will be released in India later this month and the team is clearly hoping for sugar-sweet success back home.