Rajkumar Rao and Nargis Fakhri starrer ‘5 weddings’, which opened to rave reviews at the prestigious Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, was presented by the film’s director Namrata Singh Gujral, who also spoke about the fusion of cinema cultures and the inclusion of the transgender community in her film, at IFFM’s star studded panel.
The panel was moderated by Indian Film Critic Rajeev Masand and included actors Freida Pinto, Ali Fazal and producer Tabrez Noorani.
Interestingly, both films dicussed at the panel, ‘5 Weddings’ and ‘Love Sonia’ shed light on social causes, star Rajkummar Rao and are made by American filmmakers. Director Namrata Singh Gujral takes up their cause in the film, making it one of the first films inclusive of mainstream Indian actors.
Of specific interest is the ahead-of-the-times casting of real Hijras in ‘5 Weddings’, well ahead of the trans-actor casting issue, which has currently taken over Hollywood with Scarlett Johannson’s exit from the transgender role in “Rub and Tug” after much backlash from the global transgender community.
“5 Weddings,” essays the journey of an Indian American journalist, played by Fakhri, who travels to India to cover the colorful vibrancy of Indian weddings. Once there, she begins to explore the lives of Hijras, a sect of transgender dancers who have been an integral part of Indian weddings for centuries.
A conflict arises when she decides to delve more into the life of a Hijra but her government designated liaison officer (Rao) is told to put a stop to her endeavor.
The film recieved tremendous reviews at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne where noted celebrities found it very thought provoking to learn about the Hijra community in India.
Imam Nur Warsame, the first gay Imam in the world, commented after the Australia screening “Thank you for making this film. I think it is a much needed film that sheds light on an important topic, I hope that it will be a source of healing for the hijrah community and their families and bring some peace and respect on humanitarian levels”.
‘5 Weddings’ is an enthralling narrative of cultural clashes, transgender tangles and lost love along the heartfelt journey of life, symbolized by the universal ups and downs of awedding celebration.
Presented by Amaash Films and Uniglobe Entertainment, the film is slated to release on 21st September.