In their debut English film The Unforgettable, the director duo of Arsala Qureshi and Sabrina Louis has incorporated quite a few sex scenes in this steamy dramatic affair.
However, in spite of frontal nudity being on display in the film, both the women are quite hopeful that Censor Board in India would be liberal and not chop off these
''We can only keep our fingers crossed and leave the rest to the Censor Board'', says Sabrina, who once played hockey and even represented India in a test series with Germany before turning a filmmmaker.
She adds, ''We are hoping that things have changed for the better with the Censor Board which has become far more understanding in the years gone by and is ready to accept the film maker's point of view.''
Both Sabrina and Arsala insist that the film is strictly for the adults, not just due to ample skin show but also due to the complex theme, that's centered on a man-woman relationship that The Unforgettable explores.
''That's the reason we are not asking for PG 13 rating'', says Arsala who was born in Aligarh, lived in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia, and soon after embraced filmmaking as a career.
''Our film would be released internationally this season and we have clarity around the market that we are looking at exploring. We are looking at that segment of audience to watch the film which wants to move away from routine clichéd 'pyaar mohabbat' and holier than thou affair.''
Since sex plays an integral part in the film, how do the scenes depicting it, carry forward the narrative?
Sabrina is quick to defend, ''See, most of the movies today show a lot of skin, so, I disagree if someone makes a statement that sex is ample in The Unforgettable.
Yes, it is an integral part of the narrative and has been done quite aesthetically shown. However, it is the requirement of the setup that required such scenes to be shot rather than our own personal liking.''
''If you ask me, I don't even know if sex is really the right word here", Arsala brings her point of view, "I look as the man and the woman in my film to be the two characters, who are quite comfortable with their skin and know what they want for it. If it happens to be sex, then be it."
Sabrina goes on to philosophize, "In any case, aren't we all the creations of sex? Aren't we in this world because two people were so desirous of each other and hence led to our birth? So what's wrong in feeling it that way and be open about your own desires?"
"I don't know why but majority of us filmmakers out there love to portray our women as all 'sati-savitri'', says Arsala, as she opens up further, "We never portray them as someone who could have her own desire."
She also has a thing or two to say about the way women are portrayed on television. "We keep finding similar characters with similar outlook towards life. But are we talking about a real world here? Don't women give their own beliefs, desires and expectations? This is the subject that we have played around with, in The Unforgettable."
Pitched as a film about two extreme characters (played by Raji James and Sofia Hayat), The Unforgettable is touted as a film that defies all the rules and stereotypes.
While the man completely believes in control of all desires, the woman feels that one should just surrender to the desires if need arises. In fact, she is someone who is not just strong, but also ruthless enough when it comes to meeting her own desires.
Screened at The Berlin Film Festival last year, The Unforgettable would be releasing on 8th May in India.