Demi Moore, Mark Duplass Join Cast of Indian-U.S. Film 'Love Sonia'
The anti-trafficking drama also stars Freida Pinto, is produced by 'Life of Pi' producer David Womark and marks the directorial debut of Tabrez Noorani, whose credits include 'Slumdog Millionaire.'
Demi Moore and Mark Duplass have joined the cast of anti-trafficking film Love Sonia, which also features Freida Pinto.
Produced by David Womark (Life of Pi), the drama is the directorial debut of Tabrez Noorani, whose line producing credits include such titles as Slumdog Millionaire, Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi that were filmed in India.
Love Sonia is inspired by real events and tells the story of Sonia, a young Indian village girl, who gets entrapped in the global sex trafficking network. The film follows her journey from India to Los Angeles via Hong Kong and features dialog in Hindi, Mandarin and English.
A longtime advocate for victims of sexual crimes, Moore plays a social worker in the film. In 2011, the actress teamed up with the CNN Freedom Project for the documentary Nepal's Stolen Children to highlight the work of anti-trafficking advocate Anuradha Koirala. Moore is also the co-founder of THORN, a nonprofit that partners with major players in the tech industry, government and non-government organizations to combat child sexual exploitation. Duplass, whose recent credits include HBO's Togetherness, plays the role of a wealthy man who encounters Sonia in L.A.
“I met Tabrez when we were filming Life of Pi in India and he mentioned about the script he was developing over many years,” Womark tells THR. “When I read it, I loved it and felt that Love Sonia is a story that needs to be told.”
Womark has also co-produced the Mark Wahlberg-starrer Deepwater Horizon, which opens this fall. The film revolves around the 2010 BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 crew members.
Noorani — who divides time between Mumbai and L.A. — first became aware of human trafficking in 2003 when a friend in the LAPD told him about an Indian girl found in a shipping container in Long Beach. He became more involved with the cause and started working with CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking) of which he is also a board member.
“Over the next few years, as we were working on the screenplay [with co-writer Ted Kaplan], I started going undercover in brothels and trafficking rings in Mumbai,” said Noorani who was also involved with rescue missions. “Through the process of meeting all these people and rescuing girls came all these real life stories and incidents that were incorporated in the script,” he added.
CAST CEO and executive director Kay Buck and Indian anti-trafficking charity Apne Aap Women Worldwide founder Ruchira Gupta also worked closely with the film-makers.
Love Sonia's titular character is played by newcomer Mrunal Thakur while the cast also includes Indian actress Richa Chadda (Masaan) along with actors Anupam Kher (Silver Linings Playbook), Manoj Bajpai (Gangs of Wasseypur), Adil Hussain (Life of Pi) and Rajkummar Rao (Queen).
The film's executive producers include Deepak Nayar (Bend It Like Beckham, Sense8), Hannah Zhang of China-based L’Chaim Investments and Pravesh Sahni who, with Noorani, runs India Take One Productions, which has handled line production duties for various Hollywood titles filmed in India.
Love Sonia began filming in Mumbai in April before moving to Hong Kong and has just wrapped its L.A. schedule. The film is slated for a 2017 release.