Raghuvir Joshi is Happy to See Queer Love Being Represented in Mainstream Indian Films
Raghuvir Joshi is a filmmaker who has recently made his feature directorial debut with Sahela, a film that explores the complex relationship between a gay man and his wife.
The film, which is based on Joshi’s own lived experiences, premiered at the Jio MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai and received an overwhelming response from the audience and critics.
In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Joshi expressed his happiness and satisfaction with the way queer love is being represented in mainstream Indian films.
Joshi’s personal journey of discovering his sexuality and love
Joshi revealed that Sahela was inspired by his journey of discovering his sexuality after marriage. He said that he had to express the story, which he had also explored in his short film, Yaman.
He said that he understood a very different connotation of love through the process, which was not the conventional love that one finds in a conventional partner, but a very different form of love that he discovered through the process of discovering himself.
Joshi said that he wanted to portray the complexity and the humanity of his characters, who are not defined by their sexuality alone, but also by their family, culture, and emotions. He said that he wanted to show that love can exist in different forms and shapes and that it is not a binary concept.
Joshi’s views on the changing landscape of Indian cinema and society
Joshi said that he was happy to see that mainstream Indian films are talking about queer love and giving it space and a voice.
He cited examples of films like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020), Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (2021), and Badhaai Do (2022), which feature gay or trans characters in relationships who eventually come up against disapproving family members. He said that these films are breaking stereotypes and creating awareness and acceptance among the masses.
Joshi also said that he was not apprehensive about the wider acceptance of his film beyond the festival circles, as he believed that his film was a universal story that was not just about sexuality, but also about love, family, and culture.
He said that he hoped that his film would reach a larger audience and inspire more conversations and dialogues on the topic of queer love and identity.
Joshi also said that he was optimistic about the future of Indian cinema and society, as he felt that there was a change happening in terms of representation and diversity.
He said that he hoped that more filmmakers and artists would come forward and tell their stories and express their perspectives and that more people would listen and empathize with them.
Joshi’s plans and aspirations for his film and his career
Joshi said that he was looking forward to the international premiere of his film at the Adelaide Film Festival, where he hoped to get more feedback and appreciation from the global audience.
He also said that he was in talks with potential distributors and digital platforms for a theatrical or online release of his film in India. He said that he hoped that people could watch his film in theatres, as he felt that it was a cinematic experience that deserved a big screen.
Joshi also said that he had many more stories to tell and many more films to make. He said that he wanted to explore different genres and themes and that he wanted to challenge himself as a filmmaker and as an artist.
He said that he wanted to make films that were honest, authentic, and meaningful and that he wanted to make a positive impact on the world through his films.