Just Like That Films (JLT) is an online platform that wants to create space for indie filmmakers that challenge the parochial mindset pertaining to diverse social dimensions. They have released a 32-minutes short film Project Indian Bride on the traditional myths regarding transgender people on their platform JLTPlex.com
A photographer, bored of his job, wants to do an experimental photoshoot. He chooses Rekha as his model. But the photographer's pregnant wife refuses to let him go ahead with the shoot. The reason being that Rekha is a transgender girl. This is the central plot of a 32-minutes short film Project Indian Bride produced by Harini Daddala, Founder, Just Like That Films (JLT). The film has been directed by Mujeer Pasha.
Project Indian Bride shares the story of Rekha, an urban transgender girl, who wants to be a model. Unfortunately, there are very specific notions regarding what 'transgender' people are in India. This movie tries to break this barrier by showcasing an urban transgender girl, who like anybody else has a 9 to 5 job, loves hanging out with her friends, and is a struggling model on the other side, says Mujeer.
The Founder Harini Daddala, is a London-based independent filmmaker. Her production house aims to support independent filmmakers who want to explore their creative freedom through the medium of celluloid and experiment with diverse themes which often remain untouched in our societal fabric.
A management consultant by profession, Harini always wanted to be a filmmaker. To pursue her passion, she went ahead and learned filmmaking from The Raindance Academy, London. But leaving her job for filmmaking was not a viable option. Therefore, she needed to build a team of like-minded people to balance her career and passion for filmmaking. Harini, eventually, met Mujeer Pasha who directed her film Project Indian Bride.
A space to make them count
JLT plex is an online platform which provides an inclusive space in India to showcase cinematic themes which break long-established barriers. Also, it is the first one to start a same gender web series called “The other love story”.
When I started my filmmaking journey, I never thought I would do films of this genre or theme. But seeing some of the films being made to represent the LGBT community, I strongly believe that we as filmmakers have a responsibility towards society. I have friends who have different sexual orientations and have watched their struggles closely. They shaped my perception in a larger way. As a filmmaker, I wanted to make these voices heard, says Harini.
This idea led to the creation of JLT plex—a platform to release films which portray the stories of LGBT communities in a positive light and break the stigmas surrounding them.
Project Indian Bride tells two parallel stories. One from the perspective of the photographer's wife who is a woman with a progressive mindset, yet caught in the web of traditional myths. On the other side Rekha, a transgender girl who wants to live a normal life, goes through a series of reactions from the society.
While writing the plot I did not imagine that the subject was bigger than I thought. The casting was equally challenging; we wanted a transgender person for the role of the protagonist and we found Vinita Kumar. Working on the film was a big learning experience and a window into the world of the transgender community, says Mujeer
Just like anyone else, transgender people are from all walks of life. For Nazim, the photographer in the film, the transgender girl is a model for his photography. Project Indian Bride is a story that aims to challenge the preconceptions associated with transgender people and traces the journey of how the photographer’s wife overcomes them.