I AM Cast TwitChat Tanscript

Here is the transcript of chat with the IAMFilms cast namely Onir and Sanjay Suri

Ques: Onir may be u can start by telling something abt IAM & how it started.

Ans: I AM is a film with four stories interwoven with each other. The first story we shot was I AM ABHIMANYU which was the story of a survivor of child sexual abuse. The inspiration behind the story being Harish Iyer and ganesh Nallari. Before writing I AM ABHIMANYU I was working on a film length feature film about a girl who was abused as a child. The story was called YOU and I. We were trying to get the finance for two years and did not manage. Thats when we decided to turn the girl into a Boy and make it into a short story…

Ques: but why couldn’t girl remain girl? Why did it need to turn into a boy?

Ans: by then i realized that to get an actor willing to do this role wuld also be difficult, so rather go with someone who has the guts

Ques : you mean getting a female lead to do the sexually abused girl was difficult?

Ans : Yes and also because I realised that maybe many male audience would participate in the abuse but if its a male child they would be uncomfortable and more receptive. Women are anyway more receptive to these films. also breaks the taboo that only girls are abused. As many boys if not more are abused.

Ques: In which countries besides India will IAM release on April 29?

Ans : on April 29th we release only in India, Australia and New Zealand. Post India release we shall release in North America/UK/Europe…

Ques: Was this story of Abhimanyu based on one real life incident or was it an amalgamation of cases?

Ans : Its partly inspired by Ganesh Nallari and Harish Iyre, but also other stories one has read or heard.

Ques :  In the movie what aspect of CSA’s do u deal with?

Ans : The film portrays a character who is a survivor and we see how his past shapes his complex present being

Ques:  thats good whats the message your movie is trying to portray in the movie?

Ans : That there has been too much silence. and to protect our children we need dialogue

Ques : Onir what kind of legislation wd u like to see against CSA

Ans:  well i think where along with punishment there is a provision for therapy. also the onus not lie on the child.

Ques: Do you deal with the legal issues involved with CSA in the film? or does it just depict stories?

Ans:  No IAM does not deal with the legal aspect, more a personal story

Ques: Did you meet or speak to many victims before making the movie?

Ans : yes I have met many survivors . many who came to confide when they heard that we are making this film.

Ques: Why do you think CSA is just a taboo topic in Indian movies?

Ans :  is it even a topic…havent seen any Hindi film of relevance that even touches upon it. Also CSA may have been touched upon as a side plot but not as a main theme.

Ques: through songs popular movies seem to glorify the sexuality of young teenaged girls for one…

Ans : oh yeah…tell me about it, while having business meetings i am often asked..  am often asked, " do u hv a sheela or a munni in I AM  (sanjay) worse are reality shows with lil girls dancing to Sheila ki Jawaani n choli ke peeche (onir)

Ques: how was it shaping the abusive portions on screen? did it affect u personally?

Ans : there was a sequence when Abhimanyu tell his friend about his abuse, i started crying after the shot. Sanjay Suri says “ If i may reply to this…one ws always aware of this issue but to be honest once i became a father… i became even more sensitized to the issue. “

Ques: at CSAAM we have faced a lot of flak for discussing a topic which is considered taboo. Any opinions?

Ans :  I think its imp to do this. There will be people opposing anything progressive.  but its more important to protect our children. (onir)

Keep at it coz someone somewhere is going to benefit from it. The more we talk the better it i (sanjay)

Ques: we also get a lot of gratitude. certainly all these stories being shared has helped… … helped survivors. you guys get similar responses too?

Ans :  A student send us Rs1000 as contribution saying he was abused for 6 yearsand he felt liberated with the film

Ques: Did working on this movie make you a paranoid parent? Its a thin line, is nt it? Between being watchful and paranoid.

Ans :  being aware can lead to being paranoid too…but fortunately i am cautious not paranoid (Sanjay)

Ques: do you think there is still hope for normal life for a victim of abuse

Ans :  they are not Victims. we as society need to make them feel no shame at being abused. the abuser need to do that. deep psychlogical impact cld take a lot of time to go away…but counselling surely helps

Ques:  At the screenings of your film, have parents been invited? Their response?

Ans : people are alarmed and want to talk more

Yes many many and they all responsed very well to it.

Ques :   As a parent, how do you watch over your child, what are the precautions you take

Ans : i wish there was a fool proof plan of LIFE, all one can do is to remain alert about ur childs behaviour/his actions..

Ques:  any plans to screen for survivors outside bombay?

Ans :  we would like to take the film to various cities to initiate dilogue like we did with MBN

Also Onir and Sanjay said the following :

we need to introduce sex education to children since its legal for children above 12 to have non penetrational sexTo do that maybe first recognize that six is not a dirty word. and like everything else we need to arm our child to deal with it. we need to educate teachers too about how to approach sex education.

Funny to see how media reacts to stories, you give a one hour talk about all four stories and what makes it to headlines "homo film".