INDIA. Mumbai. Bollywood actress Sonal Sehgal will be romancing the Russian actor Jurijs Dyakonovs in the Indo-Latvian co-production and sci-fi thriller Manny, which is a story about a woman trapped in a house by AI.
Marking Sehgal’s debut as a producer, Manny is directed by Latvian director Dace Puce and stars Russian, British, Latvian, French and Indian actors.
Jurijs Dyakonovas is a well-known actor in Europe who will be next seen in a series sharing screen space with Sophie Turner. The other primary characters in the film are played by British Actor Tony Hopkins and Latvian actors Darta Danevica, Egons Dombrovskis and Marta Grase.
Sonal, who has produced Manny along with Latvian producer Kristele Pudane, talked about the casting process, “Manny is a sci-fi psychological thriller. The theme of the film is very global. Dace and I felt the cast should be global as well. The script was sent to Jurijs and he gave a nod immediately. Since my visa was delayed and I was only going to arrive in Latvia one week before the shoot, we decided to do readings over Google hangout. All the actors made themselves available for all the online readings with the entire team and by the time I actually met them, it was like we already knew each other pretty well. The film is futuristic and the process of making the film has also been a very unconventional one.”
Interestingly, Jurijs has been to India 5 times and so he was very well tuned to Indian culture. Therefore, he did not need a lot of explanation regarding the nuances of Sehgal’s character in the film. She plays an Indian girl who travels to Latvia on a writer’s retreat and then gets trapped by AI.
The film, which is a sci-fi psychological thriller, has been entirely shot in Latvia and wrapped shooting in January this year. Since then, the team has been working online in COVID-19 times to finish the post production work on the film. The technicians working on the post are from both countries. While the edit and color grading is being done in Latvia, the music and sound mix is happening in India.
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 Manny.