INDIA: The actor Sonal Sehgal’s debut feature as a producer, Manny, will have its World Premiere in the international competition of the prestigious 74th Festival Internazionale Del Cinema Di Salerno in Italy. The Italian festival will be held online from Dec 7-12 due to COVID-19.
Sonal Sehgal who has produced Manny also stars in the lead role along with Russian actor, Jurjis Dyakonovs and Latvian actor, Darta Danevica. The is directed by Latvian filmmaker Dace Puce and produced by Marana Productions (Latvia). The music for the film has been composed by Naresh Kamath (of Kailasa fame).
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The sci-fi psychological thriller is about a woman who struggles with her identity as her life unfolds through three love interests – one real, one a figment of her imagination and one AI.
Sonal’s excitement knows no bounds. She says, “I am so grateful to the universe that our film (Manny) is getting such a grand debut in Europe on such a prestigious platform. Of course the excitement would have been double if we could attend the Festival in person. But due to COVID restrictions since Italy is on a second lockdown right now, this year the festival will screen films only online.”
The director Dace Puce from Latvia shares her excitement saying, “I am over the moon. This film has been quite a journey for all of us. A co-production is not easy and that too, between two countries in two different continents. And then Covid hit the world and we had to find novel ways of doing the post production completely online. Now it finally feels like our efforts have been rewarded.”
Established in 1946, the festival is as old as the Cannes Film festival and has seen many Oscar winning films debuting in its cinemas. The festival has been an annual event for many Hollywood and European movie stars – Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, Monica Bellucci etc. walking its red carpet over the years.
Sonal has worn many hats in her stint in the industry. She started as a copywriter, assisted director Pradeep Sarkar, directed a short film, Dancing In The Dark about the ‘racism perpetrated by fairness creams’, acted in TV and films, co-wrote the screenplay of Lihaaf, authored a book ‘The Day That Nothing Happened’ and now she has turned producer with Indo-Latvian film, Manny in which she will also be seen as an actress. “Well, one life, I want to do it all!” signs off Sonal.