Monique Kalmar, Max Brown to lead Bina Bhattacharya’s ‘From All Sides’

Max Brown and Monique Kalmar.

Monique Kalmar and Max Brown will star opposite each other in Here Out West writer Bina Bhattacharya’s debut feature From All Sides, set to begin production in November.

Taking place in the writer/director’s hometown of Campbelltown in Sydney’s south-west, the story follows a middle-aged Indian-Australian woman Anoushka (Kalmar) whose former life as a professional dancer resurfaces, catapulting each member of her multi-racial family, including her bisexual husband Pascal (Brown), into parallel journeys of cultural and sexual awakening, while unearthing a minefield of race relations, class tension, and sexuality.

Joining Kalmar and Brown in the cast are Georgia Anderson as Anoushka’s daughter Nina, an aspiring dancer, and Campbelltown native Josh Virgona, who plays Pascal’s love interest Remy.

Bina Bhattacharya.

The Gemme de La Femme Pictures production is being developed with investment from Western Sydney arts organisations PYT Fairfield and Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Bhattacharya, who wrote The Eternal Dance chapter of Here Out West, is producing alongside editor Alexander McGhee and Daisy Montalvo.

Other members of the creative team include DOP Robert Morton, composer Parvyn Singh, and production designer Kate Beere.

In making the film, which will feature dance styles spanning contemporary, Bharatanatyam (South Asian Classical Dance), and fusion, she said she wanted to blend South Asian cinematic styles with a modern, Australian sensibility.

“I wanted my first film to be a film only I could make. It was important to me to represent East and South Asian characters as fully realised, three-dimensional, sexual beings with all the ambiguity and messiness that entails,” she said.

“I grew up on Indian cinema and so having singing and dancing in the film is true to my taste.”

Producers are still in talks regarding distribution.