‘Jungle Cry’ to celebrate stories of unsung heroes like 12 boys of Odisha who won U-14 Rugby WC: Emily
Mumbai/Bhubaneswar: Indian American actress Emily Shah, who plays a pivotal role in the film ‘Jungle Cry’, says that cinema is the most powerful medium to bring out and celebrate the stories of unsung heroes and underdogs like the 12 orphaned boys hailing from an underprivileged background in Odisha.
The story of the film ‘Jungle Cry’ is based on the true story of the 12 orphaned boys of Odisha who mastered the game of rugby within four months and went on to win the 2007 Under-14 Rugby World Cup.
Asked why she felt she had to be a part of the film, Emily said, “I have lived in America so when I heard the narration of the story I was quite surprised about the achievement of these young boys and no one was talking about it.”
She continued: “Later, I realized many Indians also are not aware of the achievement of these boys, perhaps because it went unnoticed by the mainstream media.”
Emily said she realised that “at times, only through cinema we can bring people together to celebrate the stories of underdogs”. She added: “Yes, cinema is that powerful medium, in India as well as worldwide. That was enough reason for me to be part of the story!” In the film she plays Roshni, the manager of the Indian team.
On her co-actor, Abhay Deol, Emily said: “I think he is the best collaborator for any actor; it is interactive and he is always open to suggestions. At the same time, his acting is so real, subtle and impactful at the same time! We had a great time shooting.”
She added: “We shot the film in 2018-19, around that time. Due to the pandemic, things got paused but the great thing is, the film is releasing!”
“Right now, for me what matters is the right opportunity with good stories. I am open to meeting people, do audition and trying my luck in good cinema,” Emily said.
“Bollywood is huge, but so are films made in other languages, such as Tamil and Telugu, and they are released internationally as well. As an artiste I am looking at grabbing every best opportunity that is coming my way,” she added.
Directed by Sagar Ballary, and also starring Steve Aldis, Rhys William and Saujas Pannigrahy, ‘Jungle Cry’ releases on the Lionsgate Play app on June 3.
(With agency inputs)