EXCLUSIVE: Sex trafficking is a global plague that affects 800,000 women and children, and a global consortium has come together to make a hard-hitting movie about it that will start production in India on April 24. Slumdog Millionaire producer Tabrez Noorani makes his directorial debut and David Womark (LifeOof Pi and Deepwater Horizon) is producing Love Sonia, a drama inspired by real events and written by Ted Caplan and Alkesh Vaja.
Love Sonia tells the heartfelt and brave story of Sonia, a young Indian village girl whose life irrevocably changes when she is entrapped into the vicious global sex trade network. The film is getting close to finishing its casting, with Frieda Pinto, Manoj Bajpai, Richa Chaddha, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, Rajkummar Rao and Sai Tamhankar starring. Newcomer Mrunal Thakur will play the title character. The film will also shoot in Hong Kong and L.A., and the funding comes from China.
Noorani and Womark met on Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi, and have been working on this project for three years, with support and guidance from two of the world’s largest anti-trafficking NGOs; Kay Buck, CEO/exec directing of CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking) has been advising on the film and Apne Aap Woman Worldwide founder Ruchira Gupta is providing support for the actors as they research
Noorani spent years developing the script including personally participating in rescue
missions with NGOs in both India and Hong Kong. “The film is unflinching and controversial, and we wanted to make a film that can be a global platform for a problem that is happening in every community, and people don’t notice,” Noorani told Deadline. Love Sonia’s executive producers include Pravesh Sahni from India Take One Productions and Hannah Zhang from L’Chaim Investments, who was instrumental in the funding of the project.
Pravesh Sahni and Noorani’s India Take One Productions have recently completed filming Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House with Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville starring and Deepak Nayar producing, and the company also just completed filming on Season 2 of Sense 8 in Mumbai.