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Ek Jagah Apni: Their story, their voice

Updated on: 21 March,2023 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hiren Kotwani |

Maker of Ek Jagah Apni, which premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival, on casting trans women to lead the LGBTQiA+ movie

Ek Jagah Apni: Their story, their voice

The film, starring Manisha Soni and Muskaan, is helmed by Ektara Collective

Neeraj Churi’s last offering Sheer Qorma (2021) told a tender same-sex love story. Two years on, the producer has focused on another facet of the LGBTQiA+ community. Ek Jagah Apni follows two trans women Laila and Roshni who are looking for a new home, thus shining a light on the struggles of the community to rent an apartment. Given the film’s theme, it is only fitting that real-life trans women Manisha Soni and Muskaan were roped in to play the leads in the feature film helmed by the Bhopal-based Ektara Collective.

Neeraj Churi
Neeraj Churi

“Since the story was broadly based on the experiences of our trans contributors, Ektara Collective’s decision to use them as actors imbued the characters with a sense of authenticity that would be hard to achieve with professional actors,” reasons Churi. He adds that the team conducted month-long workshops to ensure that Soni and Muskaan were familiar with their parts. 

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Ek Jagah Apni premièred at the recently concluded South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. It also fetched Churi the Uniquely South Asian Award for his contribution to the upliftment of the South Asian diaspora in the US. Calling the film’s première at SXSW a dream come true, the producer says, “This recognition signifies the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Witnessing the audience’s positive response at the festival has left me overjoyed.”

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