'Laila Manju' maker Prem Raj Soni recalls struggle with depression

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'Laila Manju' maker Prem Raj Soni recalls struggle with depression 1

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) Filmmaker Prem Raj Soni draws from personal experience to underline the fact that mental health is extremely important for the wellbeing of a person.

Soni is all set to make a comeback in Bollywood with his forthcoming film “Laila Manju”. He recalls a tough phase before this, when his earlier films, “Main Aurr Mrs Khanna” (2009) and “Ishkq In Paris” (2013), performed poorly at the box-office.

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“Mental health is extremely important. I battled depression from 2013 to 2016. Those three year were extremely difficult. My previous film did not work. I lost my father and no one was ready to even hear any of my scripts or give me work,” he recalled.

He added: “I was outright rejected. It was the toughest time of my life and to bounce back from there was tougher. The only way I got back was through meditation and spirituality. Creative people are extremely sensitive. A spiritual path is the only path to free them from outer disturbances.”

Soni’s forthcoming film “Laila Manju” revolves around two British-born Punjabi boys wanting to save their heritage restaurant in Southall, for which they participate in London’s most popular beauty contest.

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India’s first film based on Drag Race, “Laila Manju” tries being a lighthearted tale with a message about equality and racism.

“I was on a sabbatical and I saw a lot of life. What mattered to me the most was the injustice that was happening in the form of discrimination. I chose ‘Laila Manju’ and this subject, I felt, was important because it could bring a change in mindset and make people aware of the fact that racism can be in any form — whether #BlackLivesMatter or #BrownSkinDiscrimination or #SocialPrejudice,” Soni said.

“Laila Manju” features Shashank Vyas of “Balika Vadhu” fame, Abhimanyu Tomar and Miss India Diva 2018 Nehal Chudasama. It also features Iulia Vântur, Farida Jalal, Jimmy Sheirgill, Niki Aneja Walia, Rajit Kapur, Mahesh Manjrekar, VJ Andy and Jesse Lever in pivotal roles.

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–IANS

iv/vnc

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