Decoding The Creative Gypsy’s All About Sec-377 with Amit Khanna
According to KPMG-FICCI’s Media and Entertainment Report 2016, this particular industry grew by 12.9 per cent from Rs.1026 billion in 2014 to Rs.1157 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, increase in penetration of internet has also opened new doors for OTT/VOD and mobile TV platforms.
Lots of content floating across the various platforms such as TV, Radio, Digital etc. unfortunately, so far the LGBT characters have been portrayed either as jokers or victims. Thus, aimed at breaking the stereotypical image of LGBT community The Creative Gypsy rolled out a web-series titled All About Sec-377.
Directed by Fashion photographer Amit Khanna and he made his acting debut through this web-series. This 8 episodic web-series takes viewers to the real world of LGBT and also delivers a strong message that being Gay is not a taboo. Here Khanna sharing the story behind the scene of this web-series and what challenges the team had faced.
I felt the LGBT community forms a huge chunk of our population. This community is being neglected and side lined by our society. There have been a lot of conversations and up’s and down’s after certain laws were passed on homosexuality.
LBGT community is not depicted in the right way in our society and I felt it was important to tell their story, share their feeling and mind frame. I wanted to make an attempt to cover it all in a humorous and emotional manner and open everyone’s eyes to the reality of a gay person’s life.
Hence, my newest direction, All about Section 377 is a web-series which is about freedom of love – love in its purest form. The web-series is a light and fun representation of the dilemmas faced by homosexuals. It takes a light hearted look at gay couple’s life as seen through the eyes of straight homophobic man
Q. Please shed the light on the key features and highlights of the series?
The Series is about Suresh who comes to Mumbai from Delhi to pursue acting and modelling, Suresh is homophobic, his worst nightmare comes alive when he realises that his cousin who he supposed to live with is gay and also lives with his boyfriend in the same apartment. Hence begins the journey of a homophobic man who lives with a gay couple and how his perceptions change over a period of time
Q. What is the USP of All About Sec- 377?
The USP is its characters, the topic and its execution. The way section 377 has been portrayed is unimaginable – light hearted, fun and at the same time so effective.
Q. Please tell us about the characters and interesting facts about casting them?
Well the casting was a challenge. Gulshan fit in his part like a glove, but to cast for the other characters was never easy, Ankit bhatia who plays a bisexual character was a find , we conducted several auditions and we selected him through an online audition, he plays one of the most complex characters on the show but he worked very hard and shined through his act.
Mustafa also auditioned for Chottu and did full justice to his part, well Rohit’s character again is very complex and layered, he is bitchy, emotional, loud as well as homely, it was important that we depict the nuances well but not go overboard, many actors shied away to play a gay character so as the writer I felt i must cast myself, which I feel scared me initially but with everyone’s support I knew ill manage. So yes I made my acting debut through the Web-series.
Watch trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7nVBSoOy5Y
Q. Did you face any challenges while executing this web-series?
I faced hurdles with regards to sponsors coming on board and actors opting to be part of the film due to its controversial topic. Actors were hesitant to act in the web-series; I thought why not myself act in it.
I am glad to share that the turnaround of the series is much better than I had thought with the current set of actors. I felt even brands that could associate with the series kept away.
Q. How would you define your core TG? What are your strategies to take this web series to its TG?
The core TG is actually very diverse… I feel our web-series can connect to each and every individual of any age or from anywhere in the world since love is a universal feeling i also feel everyone must understand this and everyone must watch the series we have focused more on our content we have faith in it and hence we are sure through word of mouth it would spread.
Watch making here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fji9jqNjZkM
Q. What has been the response for the episodes so far? Is there any plan for season 2?
The response has been terrific. In fact, I am so happy with the way viewers have poured comments on the YouTube channel; it has been very motivating for the entire team. The series will see season 2 very soon.
Q. Apart from this, what else The Creative Gypsy has in its kitty?
The creative gypsy is a content driven production house… and now a YouTube channel… at the moment we are gearing up for our next hard hitting short stories web-series which effect India as a country. Each short film is award winning and people would certainly relate to them.
Q. Please take us through your future plans?
I have been honoured the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for my contribution to the fashion photography industry. I am so honoured to receive such a prestigious award.
I have been invited to attend the Cannes and NICE International film festival of France this may 2016 where my short film – An untold story of Paperboats is being screened and nominated respectively.
My next project is a web-series called Mere Girlfriend Ka Boyfriend which is a rom-com. I am also working on 2 more nonfiction Web-series.