NO LOVE LOST, Drama/Romance, 15min, UK
Directed by Shekhar Bassi
A Jewish boy nurturing a secret romance with a Muslim girl, despite the realities of their backgrounds, is unaware he is being stalked. While the young lovers struggle to be open about their relationship, the stalker's obsession reveals a thought provoking turn culminating in the trio coming face to face.
NO LOVE LOST came into existence following a very precocious conversation with my ten-year-old niece who questioned the idea of 'hating someone'.
We wanted to convey a multi-dimensional and engrossing story of the isolation of hatred in a world where love overcomes differences hence chose the world of our story to be an urban setting rather than going across geographical borders. For us the underlying subtext was 'we alienate our self by hating while believing we are alienating the person or thing we hate'.
Playing with the notion of love and hate we knew that one of the main themes of the film was identity and London was the perfect city to explore this due to its status as a melting pot of races, religions and creeds with invisible barriers of hate politics keeping different people apart. It was important to acknowledge that the story was not merely about race and religion as identity was signified by gender too.
In today's world, where prevailing identities that many at large assign hate to, in society and mass media, we chose to delve into the dynamic of a Jewish boy in romance with a Muslim girl while being stalked by another girl.
We had no desire to move forward until we had a solid story on paper which in the telling would be enough to excite a potential actor and crew member. It was also clear very early on that we would run into opposition, which we did during our research days and our search for funding. A couple of British based Muslim organisations and a Jewish institution found the story to be insulting.
Following past filmmaking experiences of dealing with crews and schedules, we had decided to make it a seven day shoot and that we would pay everyone apart from any trainees or shadowers. This in itself meant the budget could take a big shape. Fortunately, we secured deals with suppliers who immediately took to the screenplay and the story. It helped keep the budget down.
With the help of producer Gemma Lloyd we began assembling a crew and also a good cast. Our only condition with everyone we hired was the same as our previous projects - get involved only if you believe in the screenplay and are bringing your creative energy to the making of the film.
As we approached our set shoot date, funding was not anywhere close which led us to use our own savings. We believed in the story, the screenplay and the film we wanted to make. The shoot took seven days.
Post-production editing took longer as my go to editor Nathan Cubitt was swamped with work. The wait was worth it. After working with a couple of composers who were not hitting the mark, I found a brilliant Brazilian composer, Renan Franzen, with whom I collaborated with via skype. We have still not met in person.
The online was handled by Primefocus and one of their in house producers, Helen Silver, and post-production Producer, Charlotte Collings, were very excited by the film and brought a great deal to the project which was a great relief on the budget too.
We had our film NO LOVE LOST ready by end of September 2013 and were set to send it out to festivals.