Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sandeep Modi, Vipul Amrutlal Shah on changing representation of LGBTQIA+ on screen

As the world celebrates Pride Month in June, Sandeep Modi, the director of the soon-to-be-released ‘The Night Manager: Part 2’ and the writer of the Sushmita Sen-starrer streaming show ‘Aarya’, feels that the audience also is now more open to the idea that LGBTQIA+ characters represent the truth of our times.

The director has crafted queer characters for both ‘Aarya’ and the Indian adaptation of ‘The Night Manager’.

Talking about his thought process behind queer characters, Sandeep said: “I have had two opportunities to bring to light this paradigm shift, firstly in Aarya through the representation of ACP Khan who does not want to publicly accept his identity; and secondly, in The Night Manager, Brij Pal’s (BJ) character who is open about his sexuality and carries his identity on his sleeve. Both these characters are very distinct and it was a fun challenge for me to put these characters in place while also taking care that the characters don’t come across as stereotypical ones.”

The queer community has brought in a whole new spectrum of storytelling and taken the audiences on a refreshing journey with these characters having their own story arcs.

He further mentioned: “The audience also is becoming more open and accepting of the idea that these characters represent the truth of our times and the fact that on-screen characters have taken the lead to not only show a mirror to the society but also show a path of how we should be more inclusive in our thoughts and actions. I feel proud of being in this industry where Indian filmmakers and the audience are accepting the characters from this community with equal and more love and respect.”

Vipul Amrutlal Shah, the director of medical-thriller series ‘Human’, shared that the representation of the community has seen a positive change over the years.

He said: “Over the years, I feel that some amount of change has happened in the way people see the LGBTQIA+ community, but my biggest problem still is that we try and separate them and I think we need to stop doing that. We need to show them as normal as anybody else and that would be the only right representation of the entire community. We have progressed from where we were, but I think we are too slow in accepting their rights and presenting them as as natural and as normal as anybody else.”

He added: “In the show ‘Human’, Saira, Kirti’s character is not from the LGBTQIA+ community but we wanted to show her as normal as anybody else would be. I think she did the job very well and that’s why she came across as a very real and natural character.”



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