Indian director Jiju Antony’s “A Miracle of Love,” selected at Busan’s Asian Project Market, is informed by the filmmaker’s own life experience.
“The script is heavily inspired by an episode from my personal experiences in raising my son who’s living with autism,” Antony tells Variety. “There are thousands of defining moments in our journey with him. A milestone incident from that journey became the crux of this project. It was such a fulfilling experience in real life, I was feeling blissful while writing towards that defining incident in the script.”
The film will take a peep into a family’s life on either side of a weekend, about the demons they fight in their heads and how relationships get stretched. At the same time, it will also explore how people with radically different perspectives of life can bring a positive change.
“I just want to say wherever love and acceptance is there, there will be hope,” says Antony. “We all will turn a corner as long as we are ready to embrace the challenge and keep working on them. The night will end soon, the sun will rise, and the miracle is waiting. We have to just find it.”
Antony debuted with “The Forsaken” (2017), which followed the life of a criminal in reverse. It began its festival journey at the Mumbai Film Festival. He also served as executive producer on Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s 2019 Venice title “Chola” and 2020 Busan selection “A’hr.”
“A Miracle of Love” is produced by Shaji Mathew and Aruna Mathew at Niv Art Movies, whose credits include “Nani” and “Sexy Durga.” Half of the project’s $300,000 budget has been raised from private equity sources.
“All the movies we produced so far from Niv Art Movies had been from the money I raised at my personal capacity. We have now come under a larger umbrella, Niv Productions, where we are also looking forward to producing a variety of media projects apart from our core focus on movies,” Shaji Mathew tells Variety. “We have a much larger team now with various contributors working with us in creative, production, and marketing aspects. This has drawn interest from outside in terms of investing into our projects. We are definitely hopeful of finding partners at the Busan Project Market to fill the gaps that exist in our project.”
Both Mathew and Antony have packed development slates. Antony has “The Happiness Project,” about the mid-life crisis of a group of 40-something friends; “The Mask,” a character study of a senior citizen who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; a period film “The Cat” that employs a child’s memory strands to help the audience to connect the dots in a plot steeped in mystery and sex; “At the Maze,” a thriller where stolen identity and a few other crimes lock the protagonist in a psychological maze from which he has no escape; and “Ettamedam,” an investigative thriller where the criminal is right under the nose of the police force.
Meanwhile, Mathew’s projects include one that follows a sound recordist and a tribal community through a coal mine and a rain forest, and a Himalayas-set project that follows a family in their quest to find their next refuge after being displaced.