“I knew I wanted it to be a love story,” Bernard said to Anna Smith at Deadline’s Contender’s Event: London. She also described the idea behind the film as a “bio-fiction.”
“It all felt very organic and very easy and slow moving,” said Akhtar, “to the point where when we were on set, and I was actually being Ali, I think it was the most free I’ve ever felt.”
“It’s clear from reading the script that it was a very tender, warm, and funny love story” said Rushbrook. “Just being free with no preconceptions… I don’t feel like I came with much prepared, just a keenness to being open.”
In terms of improvisation, Rushbrook said “Adeel was quite adept at fucking about.”
“That’s the generosity of Clio’s process,” Akhtar responded.
A story about the emotional complexity of grief and love, Ali & Ava follows Ali (Akhtar), a British Pakistani landlord, and Ava (Rushbrook), an Irish teacher and single mother, as they navigate a mutual desire for connection despite their own personal dilemmas. Ellora Torchia, Shaun Thomas and Natalie Gavin also star in the pic from writer-director Barnard.
Ali & Ava was produced by Barnard’s long-term producer Tracy O’Riordan of Moonspun Films, with finance from BBC Films, BFI and Screen Yorkshire. Watch a teaser from the pic here.
Check out the panel video above.
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