India meets Australia in new films
Producer-director Stanley Joseph is aiming to bridge the cultural gap between India and Australia by making mainstream films shot in both countries.
The Indian-born founder of World Pictures Australia is preparing to launch My Cornerstone, a romantic comedy which explores multiculturalism and spiritual faith, in Australia in late September.
It stars 24 year-old Indian-Australian Zenia Starr as an Indian nurse who moves to Sydney where she's hired to care for the ailing matriarch of a wealthy Indian-Australian family.
New Zealand-born, Sydney-based writer-actor James Morcan, who wrote the screenplay based on Joseph’s story, plays an enigmatic neighbour named Chris who enters her life. The film was shot in Mumbai and Sydney, with 90% of the dialogue in English, the rest in Hindi.
Reel to Deal Pictures, a newly-formed New Zealand-based distributor, will launch the film on 16-18 screens in Australia, Joseph tells IF.
Via sales agents the film will be released theatrically in Fiji and Singapore but Joseph, who migrated to Australia 17 year ago, plans to bypass cinemas in India and go straight to DVD, due to piracy and traffic logjams which make getting to cinemas a challenge in the big cities.
Seeking distribution in the US, he’s had talks with a US cinema chain and an online company.
Morcan says, “My Cornerstone is the first Australian-Indian crossover film. Our storyline reflects many of Stanley’s own experiences as an Indian migrant in Australia.”
Joseph’s follow-up is Love You Krishna, a romantic comedy drama now in post-production. Scripted by Morcan, again based on Joseph’s story, the plot follows the Chopras, a wealthy Indian-Australian family who are subtly influenced by a mysterious stranger's visits to their Sydney mansion.
Starr, who also appeared in Mark Grentell’s Backyard Ashes, and Morcan are among the cast, and there is a similar split between English and Hindi.
Both films were financed by an Indian investor and were shot back-to-back in an economical 37 days. Joseph envisions a mid-2015 release for Love You Krishna.
His first film, actioner Newton's 3rd Law, was released in 2011.