Manan Katohora, writer and director of last year’s When Kiran Met Karen, really has a thing for lesbians. Or at least for featuring them in lead roles in his films. Katohora’s latest screenplay, Come to My Window (which features the Melissa Etheridge song by the same name) is currently being filmed in Washington, D.C., and again, revolves around lesbian characters.
But this time, it’s different, Katohora says, as Come to My Window is more of a "true coming out story" about two neighbors, an Indian named Priya (Simi Van Scoy) and an American named Nicole (Alison Hight) falling in love.
Simi Van Scoy (left) and Alison Hight
Come to my Window is Katohora’s third film involving lesbians (the second is this year’s Extrospection, a twist of a coming out story in which a mother comes out to her daughter), and he says this pattern reflects his experiences.
"I was raised by a very strong independent mother, have two strong independent sisters. .. I am surrounded by strong independent South-Asian and American women," he says. "I think the reason, with god’s grace, my films get lot of buzz, and win awards, and somehow find distribution, is because of these strong independent South-Asian female characters. Otherwise most films have the same old, play a wife, play a girlfriend-kinda roles."
In Come to My Window, both leads play “the girlfriend role.”
Which is exactly what attracted Van Scoy (who is also the film’s co-director/co-producer) to the project.
Simi Van Scoy
"I have always been intrigued with controversial issues, so for me this was a great opportunity to speak up in a way, in regards to the cultural and homosexuality issues, " she says. Van Scoy has known Katohora for several years and when he approached her to get involved, she said, "I simply could not refuse because the script is absolutely amazing."
Katohora has also written a screenplay for a lesbian comedy of errors, because, “I think we have enough brilliant, intense serious dark lesbian films, how about something lighthearted?"
"I have seen every possible lesbian movie — almost," he continues. "I love Claire of the Moon, one of the earliest lesbian films. Loved it. Everything was good in that film — performances, locales, production values … I really enjoyed Saving Face. What a beautiful story, at so many levels. Imagine Me & You was very cute, and obviously my mentor Deepa Mehta‘s Fire. Intense."
Shooting on Come to My Window is nearly complete, and the film should be ready for festival submissions by October.
For more information on the film, check out their Facebook group.