Actor Sonal Sehgal turned producer with her maiden venture an Indo-Latvian Sci-Fi Psychological thriller this year. The film has been directed by Dace Puce and written by Sonal. While it is a unique film in its foreign collaboration, it is also unique as 70 per cent of its cast and crew is women. All three producers, Sonal, Dace Puce and Kristele Pudane are women who came together to make this film. Among other crew members, the writer, production designer, line producer, art director, stylist and hair, make up are all women. The primary cast too has two out of three female actors.
Sonal Sehgal says, “I’ve always believed women are equally talented but have just not been given a fair chance. Dace and I go way back since Film School in New York. And I chose to collaborate with her because I found her extremely good at her craft and we are mentally on the same wavelength.”
Speaking about the mental block people have with giving women top jobs, Sonal said, “One of my initial Investors insisted that I bring on a male director. His argument was, you are making a Sci-Fi- thriller, not a female-centric film, so why take a female director. I refused to buy that logic and decided to move on and find alternate ways of funding the film.” Eventually, Sehgal succeeded in finding Investors who believed in talent and not gender bias.
The principal cast of the film includes Sonal, Russian actor Jurijs Dyakonovs and Latvian Actress Darta Danevica. As a producer, Sonal also made sure there was also no pay disparity between the male and female actors.
The film has had a hit run on the festival circuit. It had it’s world premiere at the 74th Festival Internazionale Del Cinema Di Salerno in Italy (the oldest and most revered film festival in the world). The film has since then travelled to festivals in Europe, US and UK, winning six awards so far.