Mira Nair isn't the only filmmaker in her family anymore. Her nephew Ishaan Nair will have his film Kaash – no relation of Mahesh Bhatt’s 1987 movie with the same name – world premiere at the Tokyo Film Festival. It will also be screened at the Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival.
Kaash, starring newcomers Varun Mitra, Nidhi Sunil and Kavya Trehan is about a young photographer named Aadil (loosely inspired by Nair’s own story) who sets out to meet a woman (Khushali) with whom he has connected over the Internet after his relationship with a Bollywood starlet (Samira) sours. He then begins to explore the limitations and possibilities of love in an "if only" oscillation between his past and his present.
"I was a photographer in New York who moved to India, got into a relationship with a beautiful, talented but dusky actress. She was struggling to make it in a fair girl's world in Bollywood, she came close to making it, but I got left behind," says Ishaan about his film and its inspiration. Although the script was completed in three months, it took nearly six years for the film to be produced as most found it 'not commercial enough' he adds.
The multilingual film shot in Gujarat and Mumbai is co-produced by Mira Nair and Irrfan Khan. Kalki Koechlin, who has a special appearance in the film says, "I play a French hippie who is touring India. It was really exciting to be a part of the film as I had never been to a desert earlier."
Ishaan has previously worked as a still photographer on the sets of Mira Nair’s film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012). You might also remember him as Naseeruddin Khan’s son in Mira Nair's 2001 film Monsoon Wedding.
Earlier, Nair made a 43-minute short film while studying at film school in New York. Guroor (2007) did the rounds of international film festivals in New York and Florence, but was never shown in India. Kaash may change all that.