Ask (Feb. 24, 2009)


Question: Chutney Popcorn is one of my favorite lesbian films. What else is director Nisha Ganatra working on right now?

— Carly, Chicago, IL

Nisha Ganatra

Answer: The director of the breakthrough lesbian film Chutney Popcorn (2000) has recently moved from New York to Los Angeles, and has several projects in the works.

One of them is a new feature, Raga Beats, a romance set in a world of Indian and Latino club DJs. She’s also working on Out of the Sky (Ganatra describes it as “a lesbian Thelma and Louise“) set in the 1960’s about two newly arrived Indian immigrants that set out on a cross-country adventure.

Ganatra is also participating in an HBO fellowship that has her working on the set of True Blood, where she gets to “hang out with hot vampires all day.” She told me, “The truth is that Alan Ball and everyone else on the set could not be any nicer. Ball is as incredibly talente as he is generous, and an amazing creative mentor.”

I also asked her what she thought about the success of Slumdog Millionaire, and she told me “I’m really proud of that movie receiving so much recognition. I hope it helps cross-cultural movies easier to get made. For so long, the film industry has been very hesitant to change. But the world is getting smaller and, hopefully, Hollywood will catch up.”

(Speaking of playing catch-up, you can watch Ganatra outrun me and everyone else each week in the new fitness show, Advanced P.E. with Briana Stockton.)

Question: Is the 2010 film Red Sonja starring Rose McGowan filming?

— Blake

Answer: Not yet. The film is still listed as being in pre-production, though they’ve already pulled together a captivating movie poster, haven’t they?

Over the summer, Red Sonja producer Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) and star Rose McGowan led a spirited discussion of the film (and a few other things) on a panel at Comic-Con, and here’s what I gleaned from the post about it on

1) The film will be styled after the comic book and not the campy 1985 film of the same name starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen.

2) McGowan has been working out and taking sword training for the film and plans to do her own stunts. Unlike the character depicted in the comic, McGowan will not be sporting a mullet (though, judging from the transcription of their Comic-Con conversation, producer Rodriguez seems to think otherwise).

3) McGowan is “really interested in female vengeance,” inspired by La Femme Nikita, and predicts, “This movie is going to be hard, its gonna be cold, its gonna be dirty, bloody. But I’m up for it.”

Me too.

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