• 'The Other Love Story' is India's first web series to venture into the world of same-sex love, and it's doing it rather successfully. (Just Like That Films )Source: Just Like That Films
'The Other Love Story' is India's first web series to explore the theme of same-sex love, and it's doing it rather successfully.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian

27 Oct 2016 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 27 Oct 2016 - 1:33 PM

Roopa Rao was just a young university student when she wrote the script for The Other Love Story. Little did she know, she was sitting on a powerful and touching story, set to one day capture the New York web series scene.

A web series that explores the romance between two young women in the urban city of Bangalore, India, The Other Love Story is set in the '90s; a time when India was just coming out of its conservative shell.

The series has just been nominated for six awards, including Best Director and Outstanding Achievement in Writing, at this year’s prestigious Web Fest in New York City. The winners will be announced next month.

“I am thrilled that we have been noticed by a platform like this and that we are competing on a global level for some of the top awards at the festival,” Rao tells the Times of India.

“When I made this series, I had no expectations about what I wanted from it or where it would go. I just wanted it to release and share the story, and hoped that people were engaged and entertained with each episode.”

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"The reason we have to hide and pretend all the time is that society will hate us," writes Anamika Pareek.

Rao, who says she’s always been a writer, notes that there was a lot of initial pushback to get her show out to the masses. Producers were, unfortunately, concerned about backing a story about lesbianism in mainstream media, she explains.

“When I approached producers, they were apprehensive due to the subject and the medium,” she recalls. “In that way, it has been a long journey and fight, but here we are today, with nominations at a festival like this and it has been worth it.”

The project was ultimately self-produced and crowd funded through crowd-funding site Wishberry.

Rao has also found a “freedom” in presenting The Other Love Story as a web series. It’s a unique format, which she believes allows her to express less mainstream subject matters - like sexuality - to a broad audience.

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“Love transcends gender. Love is beyond gender. And attraction is only a reflection of love, it is a shadow of love, and love is divine,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

“This was a great platform for storytellers like us who want to tell something as it is and with freedom of expression,” she says.

Episode one is available on YouTube. The rest of the series can be watched here.