Mumbai: Filmmakers Tushar Tyagi and Ritika Jayaswal are all set to make waves again with their upcoming short film ‘Saving Chintu’. The film journeys through the lives of an Indian American gay couple who visit India to adopt a child, throwing light on problems that loom large over the LGBTQ community in the country as well as other social issues like child adoption and HIV.
Saving Chintu comes at a time when changes to LGBTQ laws are happening across Asia, noteworthy among them being the 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court Of India – decriminalising homosexuality by declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional, and Taiwan legalizing same-sex marriage in May 2019 being the historic first for Asia. The film, as it explores the challenges faced by the protagonists and the emotional complexities within their relationship, also brings more complex issues to perspective.
Producer Ritika Jayaswal, an entrepreneur whose love for films led her down the path of production, comments, “India has a long way to go since the landmark judgement – same-sex couples are not recognized legally, making it difficult for them to build a family or adopt a child. Apart from legal acceptance, cultural acceptance is a far bigger challenge to overcome.”
The lead cast of the movie includes Indian actor Adil Hussain of Life Of Pi and English Vinglish fame, Bollywood based American actor Edward Sonnenblick, Los Angeles based actor Sachin Bhatt and Indian actor Dipannita Sharma and Priyanka Setia.
Tushar Tyagi is an Indian born and raised, LA-based filmmaker with multiple award-winning films to his kitty. His previous film Kaashi, promoting the Indian government’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Swachh Bharat programs, had contested at the prestigious Florida Film Festival. Gulabee, another of his works, had bagged accolades at the Canada International Film Festival. He shares, “Our film deals with numerous social issues. Making this film is so important to me, it’s like my calling to start a conversation in my small capacity and to start a wave of change in the evolving circumstances in Asia & the world. It’s high time to create awareness on a bigger level through the medium of films & art for these social issues.”
Tushar and Ritika have previously worked together and are reuniting for this project that revolves around some less-talked-about topics in films like LGBTQ and HIV/Aids. The screenplay has been written by Corey Wright and Sanyam Kumar.
Saving Chintu is all set for participation in Sundance, Cleveland International, Ann Arbor and Riverrun Film Festivals this year.