EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has picked up worldwide rights to Sudhanshu Saria’s debut feature Loev, a gay love story set against the backdrop of an road trip in India.

The film, which premiered at SXSW last year before screening at Talinn Black Nights, Jeonju, Frameline and Inside Out, is set to receive a worldwide release on the service on May 1.

Loev tells the story of two friends with a complicated past: Wall Street dealmaker Jai, played by Shiv Pandit, and Mumbai-based music producer Sahil, played by Dhruv Ganesh in his final role before passing away in January 2015. The two share an emotional weekend on a road trip into the hills and canyons of Maharashtra, where chances are missed, truths are evaded and an unexpected love develops.

The film was shot entirely on location in India and production was completed in secrecy due to the extreme LGBT laws in the country.

“I didn’t think it would be possible to cast or finance a film like this,” said Saria. “So to find ourselves on the cusp of a worldwide release is truly spectacular. It speaks to Netflix’s taste and the way in which they empower filmmakers to speak out against oppressive societies and arcane censorship systems like the one we have in India.”

The film was produced by Arfi Lamba and Katharina Suckale’s Bombay Berlin Film Production in partnership with Saria’s Four Line Films.

Saria is repped by Writ Large.