Indian auteur Anup Singh and internationally celebrated actor Irrfan Khan (“The Lunchbox”) are about to embark upon their third project together. The duo combined for 2013’s “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost” that won the Netpac award at Toronto and the Dioraphte Award at Rotterdam.
Their second collaboration is 2017’s “The Song of Scorpions”, also starring French-Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and Indian cinema legend Waheeda Rehman. The film bowed at Locarno and continued its festival run with Haifa, London, Singapore and Dubai.
“Lasya: The Gentle Dance” will be the next Khan-Singh combine. “I have a first draft of the script, I haven’t spoken about it at all with Irrfan,” says Singh. “I am waiting to find a moment of calm, when he and I can be together and I can come to him with the full confidence of no distractions.”
The director and actor participated in a freewheeling discussion about their working relationship at the Variety Studio during the Dubai Film Festival.
Speaking about “The Song of Scorpions,” Khan says, “Anup told me that he needs a kind of musicality in the behavior and that’s what I was concerned about. So I was experimenting. And I can experiment intellectually and emotionally. And that’s something unique. Very rarely does someone offer you that.”
While “Qissa” was about Khan’s character’s obsessive quest for a male heir, “The Song of Scorpions” is a tale of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of song. “Lasya” will see Khan play a man who plays a woman during ritualistic performances and discovers that he likes to play at being a woman in his everyday life too.
“I like to challenge my audience’s identities,” says Singh. “And I like to challenge their preconceptions about how a story might go.”