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Adil Hussain, Suchitra Pillai come together in Siddharth Chauhan’s The Passport

The film will mark the feature debut of self-taught filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan.

Our Correspondent

Siddharth Chauhan, a self-taught filmmaker from Shimla, announced that he will be making his feature debut with the upcoming film The Passport, starring Adil Hussain and Suchitra Pillai in the lead roles.

The Passport is a drama about a couple's separation in India through a mutual consent divorce and its devastating effect on the mental health of their children. Hussain and Pillai play a couple who decide to separate in their 50s.

Chauhan is known for his short film, Udiaando Sindook [The Flying Trunk, 2019], which premiered at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) in 2020. Based on a popular fairy tale, the film was made in Pahari language.

Speaking about the film, Chauhan said, ”I wanted to show how damaging a separation can be for children, irrespective of their age and raise an important point - you can divorce your wife but not your children'."

The film will be shot in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and the filmmaker spoke about why the choice of location was so important for him.

He shared, ”I have received so many offers from producers, persuading me to shoot my film in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand because of the subsidy and film policy there. But I refuse to do that. I don't just want to make films, I want to make films in Himachal and tell stories of the locals, by the locals and for the locals."  

Elaborating on this further, Chauhan spoke about the need for state governments to fund films and other creative initiatives. He said, “There is a huge difference between an 'outsider' making a film in Himachal and a 'Himachali' making a film in Himachal. I hope the government of Himachal Pradesh will extend its support to filmmakers by making the 'film policy' functional and offering good subsidies for filmmakers based in Himachal striving to make films here.

"If we don't receive support from [the] state, we will have no choice but to move to other states and will naturally end up promoting their tourism and culture. I sincerely feel that the real loss would not be that, but the inability of the state to retain its ambitious youth and talent, who wants to give back to the state," he added.

The Passport is set to go on the floors this winter and will launch two new actors, Jatin Ahuja, from Madhya Pradesh, and Pragya Jain, from New Delhi. Apart from them, the film will also feature several local actors.

The film is due to be released in 2023.