The Untold Story
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Born to a Punjabi father and an Irish mother, Gray moved from Canada to Mumbai as a teenager. His early practice in cinema was academic, while studying history and films at Dartmouth College in the US. He eventually ventured into filmmaking by assisting several international directors such as Paul Greengrass of the Bourne series, Mira Nair and Mehta, among others.
A mainstream Hindi film could well have been his first — he has been working on a script since 2005 with long-time friend, director Vikramaditya Motwane. "I needed to make Fire in the Blood soon because I could see the story was being lost," he says.
The medium offered its own set of challenges, which were unlike feature filmmaking. "You have to be diplomatic while making a documentary. You are asking for a favour from those who appear in the film and you can't pay them because it's considered unethical to do so," he says. "There is also the stigma associated with HIV. We had to work with many people living with the virus and it was difficult to reassure them that we had no exploitative intentions," he adds.
The selection at Sundance and its multiple screenings there have boosted the film's global exposure, opening channels for its worldwide distribution. It has managed 25 screens in the UK and Ireland, releasing on February 26. "Apart from the pride of competing with some great films, Sundance is a hugely-influential platform. Hollywood producers have expressed interest in adapting the story too," he says. The film will release in India on April 5.
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