There was good news for fans of the award-winning lesbian film I
Can't Think Straight this weekend when the film's
writer/director Shamim Sarif and producer Hanan Kattan
unveiled their plan to produce a crowdfunded web-series of the
I Can't Think Straight follows the story of Tala (Lisa Ray) and
Leyla (Sheetal Seth) as they meet, fall in love and fight against
the cultural (and personal restraints) that try to keep them apart.
"Characters change, the world changes and I have changed as a
writer - all that will influence the way the love story plays out
this time" said Sarif, offering a taste of how the web-series will
differ to the 2009 feature-length film.
The film's producer and Sarif's real-life partner Hanan Kattan
will be reprising her role as producer for the web-series,
something she is excited about. "The web-series will continue to
provide our core audience with wonderful stories that we hope will
continue to inspire and entertain them while exploring further the
lives and journey of Tala, Leyla and their family and friends".
Sarif has equally high expectations for the webseries: "We've heard
such incredible stories of how women felt inspired to change their
lives after watching I Can't Think Straight the movie - that it
allowed themselves to feel passions they had always felt guilty
about. I think the series can have a similar effect but even more
magnified. For a lot of lesbian women in repressive countries, a
web series like this is their connection to a community that lets
them know they are not alone."
Actress Sheetal Sheth has also confirmed she will appear again as
Leyla, something which is guaranteed to please fans of the film.
She will also be working behind the scenes as Executive Producer of
the webseries alongside Sarif and Kattan.
The project is being funded independently and fans are being
invited to sponsor the production of the web-series through
'crowdfunding'. Sarif and Kattan originally approached television
networks with the series but were told by network chiefs they'd
either have to drop the cultural backgrounds of the women, or make
the central relationship abusive, two things they were unwilling to
compromise on. "The sense of hope and possibility - despite the
odds…people responded to" meant that the pair would not betray the
central value of the film. Instead, they've turned to their online
fan-base for support.
Crowdfunding offers fans the opportunity to financially contribute
to the production of the web-series, as well as interact on a
creative level with Kattan and Sarif. "Our new site
www.icantthinkstraight.tv will offer a community where people can
meet, post ideas and interact with us". Sponsorship packages start
from less than £10, and they hope to raise enough money to produce
an entire series of 15 six-minute webisodes continuing Tala and
Leyla's story beyond the big-screen.
Sponsorship will remain open until March, with the series
scheduled for online release around September next year. In the
meantime, you can watch Kattan and Sarif talking about I Can't
Think Straight in the video below.