India’s First Lesbian Web Series

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India’s First Lesbian Web Series

As the country celebrates Pride month, sbcltr recommends watching this first of its kind, same-sex web-series that is making waves internationally

In late August this year, filmmaker, Roopa Rao debuted her web-series titled, The Other Love Story, a tale of lesbian love set in 90s Bengaluru. Less than three months after its launch, Rao has already won an international award for best director at the New York web fest and had six nominations, the highest for any series, at the festival. The twelve episodes long story was written by Rao a couple of years earlier when she was still in college, but she never really got to pursuing it, as not only was the subject taboo, most producers initially thought it was a porn movie. (Lesbian stories are often viewed through the male purview.) She was also waiting for someone else to make it, but once video-sharing channels started monetising, she gained enough confidence to pursue it on her own.

The struggle was long and although international recognition feels good, Rao has admitted that awards were the last thing on her mind when she made the show. In fact, she didn’t even realise that it was the first show on the same-sex love. “When I came up with the idea it was just a love story between two girls, just like any other normal love story,” she said in an interview.

The story of the web-series is quite simple as it follows the lives of Aadhya and Anchal, two middle-class college girls who fall in love with each other. The series tentatively explores this blossoming love through urban Bengaluru. The fact that it is set 90s India means that there was not much information on the queer community at the time. According to her, the struggle of the same sex love is that, one cannot claim it to the world, the way a straight couple can. That struggle is the most beautiful, romantic part for her as a story teller, she says.

Watch the first episode below.

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