You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bombay Berlin Strengthens Indian-German Connection

Indian-German shingle Bombay Berlin Film Production is set to continue its collaboration with director Sudhanshu Saria following the success of the helmer’s debut feature, “Loev.”

The Indian film, a gay love story about two longtime friends who discover their mutual desire over a weekend trip, premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival late last year and is making its international market debut at Berlin’s EFM; it then heads to the Guadalajara Film Festival and SXSW in Austin.

While “Loev” is Saria’s first joint effort with Katharina Suckale and Arfi Lamba’s Bombay Berlin, the helmer had initially hoped to make another film with them first — “I Am Here,” about a young American man in India trying to get closure from an unresolved relationship. Saria describes it as a character study that follows “the journey of someone coming to terms with himself and his desperate need for companionship.”

Saria ended up writing “Loev” because he was unable to put together the financing for “I Am Here.”

“This one also requires a bit of a star and I thought it would help me if I had a feature film under my belt, something concrete they could see.”

Indeed, Suckale describes “Loev” as Saria’s “entry ticket.”

The film, which Pro-Fun Media is distributing in Germany, has been making waves for its subject matter. Saria says he just set out to make a love story that could take place in any major city in the world and did not at first realize the political implications of the film: In 2013, India’s supreme court upheld a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexuality.

“By extension, the court made it very easy for any cinematic work endorsing or depicting this love to be censored, obstructed and banned,” Saria said. As a result, the film’s actors, technicians and investors worked on the film secretly.

After the film’s completion, the production suffered a tragedy last year when one of its stars, Dhruv Ganesh, died unexpectedly after contracting tuberculosis. In the film, Ganesh plays music producer Sahil, who sets off with his friend Jai, a Wall Street dealmaker played by Shiv Pandit, on a fateful weekend getaway.

“I prefer to let my actions do the talking, so instead of complimenting Dhruv on the amazing job he did, I was waiting for the film to come out,” Saria said. “And not being able to see him shake hands with audiences and not having him read reviews and emails about how moving his portrayal is makes me sad and angry. But it also makes me work harder, to get more people to see it so I can give more meaning and dignity to his efforts, what he did with the final months of his life.”

Wide Management is selling “Loev” internationally, with Angel Grace Worldwide co-repping North America and handling Australia exclusively and the film’s producers overseeing sales in the Indian subcontinent.

Bombay Berlin is also developing two features with young writer-director Ruchi Joshi: “All About Her,” a road movie about an eccentric girl searching for her past; and “Killer Kumar,” a black comedy about a guy who is so invisible to those around him that he decides to kill someone in order to gain recognition, although things don’t turn out as planned.

Suckale and Lamba are also developing several TV series, including “Between Our Worlds,” about two international lawyers who battle the unethical practices of global corporations; and “Jackpot Riviera,” a series written and developed by Alessandro Bergero about five cash-strapped retired ladies from around Europe who travel to Italy to take part in a multimillion euro lottery and end up living in a small Italian village. The company is looking for European and North American partners for its TV content.

More Film

  • Village Rockstars

    Female Filmmakers Are a Growing Voice in India

    The Indian film industry has historically been a male-dominated one, but the winds of change are blowing across the country, albeit slowly. Better-served than the rest of the country is the Mumbai-based Hindi-language industry, where there are several active female filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar (“Gully Boy”), Reema Kagti (“Gold”), Leena Yadav (“Rajma Chawal”), Gauri Shinde [...]

  • Florence Pugh

    Scarlett Johansson's 'Black Widow' Movie Adds Florence Pugh

    “Black Widow’s” web may soon be growing. Sources tell Variety that Florence Pugh is in talks to join Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero film. Pugh has been on the hot list for this second lead role since last fall, but Marvel wanted to open up the field to other actresses at the beginning of the year. [...]

  • Mira Lesmana Sets up Indonesia Remake

    Mira Lesmana Sets Up Indonesian Remake of CJ's 'Sunny'

    Indonesia’s Miles Film and Korea’s CJ Entertainment are to co-produce an Indonesian remake of Korean hit “Sunny.” The film is a female-driven dramedy about a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school. Directed by Kang Hyoung-chul, “Sunny” was one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea when it was released in 2011. [...]

  • John Hodges

    Jax Media Taps A24 Co-Founder John Hodges as Head of New Film Division

    TV production powerhouse Jax Media is expanding into film and tapped John Hodges, one of the founding partners of A24, as its new head of film. “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Jax,” Hodges said. “Theirs is a potent brand that I’ve admired for a long time, and their reputation as innovative partners [...]

  • Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost,

    Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost, Sets 'Court Lady' With Huanyu

    Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market. The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with court rivalry drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The [...]

  • Blue Planet II

    Documentaries Show Strong Signs of Growth in Global Markets

    Nearly 40% of exhibitors at FilMart this year are currently involved in documentary films. This year, there are 290 such exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, an increase of 30% from the year before, and 24 nonfiction titles in screening sessions, nearly double last year’s 13 titles. The market launched its “Doc World” section in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content