“The story of our film ‘Qaid No Way Out’ is very unique…” -Sonia Kohli- Writer and Director Presentation - Shantiswarup Tripathi

Non-resident Indian and banker Sonia Kohli, living in London, has a special love for Bollywood films. That is why she is making feature films in Hindi while living in London.

By Bollyy
New Update

Non-resident Indian and banker Sonia Kohli, living in London, has a special love for Bollywood films. That is why she is making feature films in Hindi while living in London. She first made a short film "Bond: In Isolation" two years ago. Now she is bringing a different kind of film on the LGBTQ community with 'Qaid: No Way Out'. She is the writer, director, and director of the film 'Qaid: No Way Out' which is releasing on February 23. 

 resenting excerpts from the conversation with Sonia W Kohli...


You live in London. You are a banker. Then how did the idea of making a Hindi film come to your mind?

-There is a story behind my turning towards films, which I want to keep secret for now. But the truth is that we live in London. I am a banker by profession. We and my sister's family are crazy about Bollywood films. We like Bollywood songs a lot. We all are crazy about music. So there is a connection between Bollywood and India. This is the reason why even while living in London, we have shot our film 'Qaid: No Way Out' in Hindi language.

How did the theme of the film “Qaid: No Way Out” come to your mind?

-To gain experience in filmmaking, we first made a short film "Bond: In Isolation" in 2021. Then I wanted to make something more meaningful that could awaken an idea in society. After that, due to COVID-19, I made a short film "Bond: In Isolation". I was looking for a great story. Because in those days Covid was at its peak. We could not find such a story related to COVID-19 on which we could make a film. But I came across a writer who was in the LGBTQ community. This article helped me. It shook me to my core. I found that whatever has been said in this article is happening in this world/society. But no one talks about it. So I thought why don't we highlight this? After that, I did a lot of research. I found that many things are said about men or women, but not about gays. I thought that if I had a way to bring awareness to such a topic if I had money to make a film, then I should make it. After that I got busy and now this film is being screened in Indian theaters on 23rd February.


Hundreds of films have been made on the LGBTQ community so far. How is your film different from theirs?

-I am saying that the things that we have raised in our film have not been shown in any film before. Secondly, we have not shown anything unnecessary in our film. Whereas in the name of gay film, every filmmaker unnecessarily fills the scene. Presents them in a comical form or any other form. But we have not done anything like that. For the first time in our film, we have shown two male gay characters dancing and singing in one song. I mean, we have shown them have filmed a romantic song. But no other filmmaker has done this before. This is also a unique thing. There are many things in my film that the audience will see for the first time on the film screen. The story of our film is very unique. I have written Vulnerability I have tried to show that the issues of men, women, and gay communities are the same. There cannot be any difference between them.

Now after the Supreme Court's order regarding LGBTQ, where is the separation now? In such a situation, what does your film say?

-First of all, we are not talking about LGBTQ, which till now people have made a bogeyman. I believe that the Supreme Court has recognized it. It has become a law. The government also recognizes it. But my question is whether the society and the parents of a 'gay' person are accepting him. Making a law is a different thing. But are people accepting it with an open mind? We are showing in our film why their family members are against them. Why doesn't the society come forward to help them? Why are both family and massage still against the LBTQ community? I have raised this issue with full seriousness in my film.


If you have done a lot of research on this topic, then you must have understood why family members do not accept such children.

-See, the government has made the law. The Supreme Court has made the law. But the thinking of the society and the people does not change. Their thoughts have not changed. The family does not want to follow the law or should we say understand their gay children. This issue there is a need to educate the family members, the society, bring awareness among them and change their mental thinking. People have to be made to understand that this is not a disease, but it is a matter of what feelings a person has. I believe that some people take things to the steam level. I have some friends from the LGBTQ community. They also believe that they are still discriminated against. Are you born a boy or are you born a girl? But after a few years of life, despite being a boy, you are feeling like a girl or even though you were born a girl, you are feeling like a boy, then you should have the freedom to do whatever you want and this should be discussed with the family and friends. There should also be support from the society. But the society and family consider it a disease. They neither want to understand the human feeling nor want to accept it. Another friend of mine, who is from the LGBTQ community, told me that Being a boy or a girl, if I ask people for help with something, then they are ready to help. But if a person from the LGBTQ community goes to someone asking for help that he is being teased by this person, then people are ready to help. Instead of saying, 'Hey, does this happen to you too?' No one wants to think or understand that LGBTQ people are also human beings. So, as much security and attention as a man or woman needs, an LGBTQ person also needs the same amount of security and attention. LGBTQ is no different from anywhere else. But now Change will come. How much time will it take, no one knows.

How successful will your film be in changing people's thinking?

-I don't know whether my film will bring any change or not...but we are making an effort from our side. I can't say how much this effort will bear fruit. From my side, I am trying to raise awareness among the people and raise their mental awareness. I want to change the thinking. Change does not come in a day. If I make a film, change will come. No. Like me, many people are trying to bring change in the society.

How did you select the cast for the film? Are all these artists LGBTQ?

- No…not even a single artist is from LGBTQ. It is not that I did not want to make an artist from the LGBTQ community a part of my film. If any artist from LGBTQ had come and given an audition, if his audition was good, then I would have given them a chance to work. But nothing like this happened. The shooting of the film took place in London. The auditions for the selection of artists were also held in London itself. It was indeed a challenge for me to find those artists there. , who speak Hindi. But we tried and had success. In my film, Mohinder Kohli is in the role of Jigar and Zayed Khan is in the role of Mihir. These are the two main leads of the film. Mother's character is Sonia Goswami, father's character is I am Khalid.


In which international film festivals has your film been shown?

-Our film has been shown in many film festivals. But it was awarded at four places including the Cannes World Film Festival.

What else are you doing?

-I am going to start shooting for the film “Conceived – A Father Fight” soon. Apart from this, work is going on two other scripts.

What are your hobbies?

-Watching movies, listening to music, and traveling.

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