Zoya Akhtar: Love is a taboo subject in India

Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, who is awaiting the release of Lust Stories, says the feeling has been depicted both poorly and beautifully in films.

After 2013 film Bombay Talkies, an anthology on 100 years of Indian cinema, Lust Stories brings together four filmmakers — Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee, who are making an anthology film for Netflix on themes of love and lust.

“One of the main reasons why our audience goes to cinema houses is escapism, fantasy, aspiration and to hope for something they don’t have. Love is still a taboo in our culture sadly. We don’t have that many love marriages happening, your parents decide who you spend your life with.

“We are not allowed to date. In terms of lust, some people have depicted beautifully and some people are just crass. It has been in our films. People are now being more open,” said Akhtar.

The film stars Radhika Apte, Manisha Koirala, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Kapoor and Kiara Advani.

“When Zoya called me, I was jumping from the bed as she has been on my wish list for the longest time. I am always looking for newer characters newer stories, newer emotions to feel, newer boundaries to break and this story did it all. This story talks about so many biases in society that we don’t even know if they exists we just look through them,” said Pednekar.

The film is set to release on June 15 on Netflix.