If you examine the world cinema, the Indian Film Industry has been considered regressive in terms of selection of important subjects. While the industry hesitates to talk about subjects like mental health, homosexuality, and open relationships, it has talked about vitiligo quite prominently than any other film industry in the world.
Till now, Onir’s directional venture, Kuch Bheege Alfaaz has been deemed as the world’s first and only film to feature one of the leading characters with vitiligo. Now, the second film to feature a leading character with vitiligo (this time a young girl with the chronic skin disorder) is once again from India.
Imago is the story of a bright but reclusive teenager from Kolhapur who has vitiligo. The coming-of-age tale showcases an honest account of a teenager with vitiligo, which had its world premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival in October this year. Imago depicts the psyche of people living with the skin condition. The film isn’t information heavy, but traces Namrata’s beautiful journey (played by Aishwarya Ghaydar), from bullying and self-doubt to an infatuation for her teacher. Unlike Kuch Bheege Alfaaz, in Imago, the leading character with vitiligo is played by an actress with vitiligo.
In a country where an individual’s struggle with vitiligo is not given its due importance, funding emerged as Imago’s biggest hurdle. The first-time directors, Karan Chavan and Vikram Patil, hunted for producers for over a year. But most of them rejected it as an art film until a local, open-minded producer from Kolhapur came on board.
The filmmakers are currently working on a theatrical release of Imago. The film draws inspiration from filmmakers’ one friend’s vitiligo journey who was extremely beautiful but did not feel beautiful because of her skin condition. Well, it’s certainly going to be an emotional watch for all vitiligo fighters. We’ll keep our readers posted about Imago’s date of release in posts to come.