“After releasing in India release, Miss Lovely gears up for the US release” reveals Ashim Ahluwalia at the unveiling of the first look of Miss Lovely
The first look of Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely which is set in the sleazy world of Mumbai’s C grade film industry of 1970’s was unveiled at Aurus Resto-bar in Juhu, Mumbai. Present at the launch was lead cast, Nawazuddin Siddique, former Miss India Niharika Singh, Zeena Bhatia, Anil George, Menaka Lalwani, and the cinematographer K U Mohanan.
After releasing in India on January 14, Miss Lovely is also gearing up for the US release in March 2014. The debutant director Ashim who was visibly excited said, “It is the first Indian film to have such a mass release in the US. The other film which has released in the US like this was Slumdog Millionaire and it was not made by Indians. It is a big achievement for us that a film from Mumbai will release in US, Germany, Japan, and France.”
Interestingly, Miss Lovely happens is Nawazuddin Siddique’s first role as a protagonist. Talking about what drew him to the film Nawaz said , “When I met Ashim for the audition and I found the script riveting. I related to the world of C-grade movies.” Nawaz revealed, “The reason I immediately connected with the film is because I have been part of C grade film world. Not many people know that when I came to Mumbai initially, I worked in a few C-grade movies so I know how that world functions, their mind-sets, the parties. Ashim did not want a conventional performance. Miss Lovely has given me the experience of a raw and realistic performance.”
While interacting with press, the debutant director Ashim said he had a tough time finding his leading lady. He said many actresses turned the role down because they didn’t understand the space of the film. He revealed, “When I approached mainstream actresses, they thought it was a C-grade film and one of them even sent me a message saying that she would file an FIR against me if I sent her a script again as she thought I wanted her to do sleaze. I needed actors who would completely understand the space of the movie because it is completely new and different; it is not Bollywood or a sleazy flick.” “I came as a surprise when Niharika readily agreed to do the film. I asked her many times if she was sure about doing the film and if her parents knew what is she doing in the film.” he added jokingly.
The former beauty queen who makes her acting debut in the film says, “I am glad that Miss Lovely has turned out to become my debut film and it will release before my other movies. the other movies that I have done. It is a pathbreaking film in many ways. This movie is a cinematic experience that has taught me a lot about cinema and how to engage with cinema. It has opened up my mind. This film is like an intense Russian novel which sucks you into its drama.”
Divulging on the sexual content of the film Ashim said, “Though Miss Lovely is high on sexual content, it does not promote sexual violence against women. Women are molested on a daily basis everywhere. India is very interested in sexuality and the repression of that leads to crime. The Censor Board cuts everything sexual in movies and we pretend that there is no sexuality in our lives. I feel the more we talk about and discuss sex, the less the sex-related crimes will be.”
The film has been given A certificate by Censor board. “The Censor Board started with 157 cuts and after four reviews, we just have 3-4 cuts. I think the Censor Board has been reasonable. We don’t want to mislead anyone. This is not a family film and we are not releasing 5,000 prints. I want people to watch this film to know what the world of C-grade cinema is like.” Ashim added candidly.
Miss Lovely has travelled to over 30 prestigious film festivals worldwide including Toronto International Film Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival. It won the the Best Film Award at the Mumbai International Film Festival (2012) and the Best Film Award at the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival (2012). It has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Official Selection category.
The film about the two brothers who make C-grade sex-horror films is based on many true and gritty stories.