“Season 2 of All About Section 377 is going to be even more powerful. I can promise you that.”
Amit Khanna, director of the hugely successful web series All About Section 377 has three new series coming up, and has also very clear ideas of what he won’t do on the Web just because it’s easy to
So you are all set with Season 2 of All About Section 377?
Yes, I have a very strong script in hand. The dialogues are being written by Niranjan Iyengar [man behind Kal Ho Na Ho, My Name Is Khan, Wake Up Sid]. The entire team has poured its heart and soul into the making. The research alone took us six months!
What’s it going to be like this time?
There was a lot of online feedback that I received from people on wanting to see Season 2 of All About Section 377. I think it touched a chord as we really tried hard to show people the biases that the LGBT community faces at every level. It was important to do all of that sensitively and not frivolously, which is what often happens with such issues in mainstream media. So I needed to be even more careful with what I was going to put out there. This time around, we are exploring the lives of an urban gay couple who land up in a village. It also has a very strong thread on hijras—in fact, I can guarantee, there has never been anything that has addressed their cause as thoughtfully before. A lot of people in India are unsure and vague when it comes to the definition of transgender. I want to clear that.
So are you looking at creating more meaningful content addressed at the LGBT community as they are largely ignored in the stories that are being told?
Not strictly so. I am also doing a romcom called Meri Girlfriend Ka Boyfriend, and a mythological series with a fun, young twist called Valmiki Tales. Both should be launched in June.
Do you think the Internet space makes it easier for filmmakers to compromise on content quality as there is no regulation in place yet?
I think that is the beauty! We have all this freedom to explore topics and issues that we may have frozen or shelved because they didn’t cater to the larger audience of a cinema or television. I think when we make content for the Web we should not try to do things to appease people. Let’s just make content that has something valuable to say. I don’t want to be looking back 10 years later and be ashamed of anything that I made today. At the same time, I do not understand why one needs to use cusswords erupting every minute on screen or have explicit sex scenes for the sake of it! Cusswords and sex scenes are not enough to hook people in anymore. There are zillions of porn films online if you want to watch porn.
Do you think the Web will fully replace television in some years?
The change is happening faster than we think. I had people coming up to me during Sula Festival in Nasik, requesting me for a selfie. Would we have imagined any kind of popularity for a web series actor earlier? Also, the content on TV is so regressive—we have people being possessed by animals and then turning into houseflies. What do you expect the audiences to do? Of course, people will move to the Web faster if such senseless plotlines continue. But let’s face it, they are also going to get choosier about what they watch, so the content we create better be good and unique.