Afia: A much acclaimed story on sperm donation before Vicky Donor, but less celebrated

Nandita Dash as Afia

Vicky Donor is indeed one of the finest films of contemporary times in India. The movie directed by Shoojit Sircar indeed is the breakthrough movie for very talented Ayushmann Khurrana. What noteworthy about the movie is that it is still considered as the first movie based on sperm donation. However, very few people know that there is a national award winning movie that too has shown sperm donation in a quite realistic fashion.

The movie talked above is I Am. This movie was released in the year 2010, which means it had released 2 years prior to Vicy Donor. It’s a fantastic movie, especially in terms of its screenplay and direction. There are four stories, and each one is interlinked with the other in a brilliant fashion. Among the four stories, Afia deals with sperm donation. Acclaimed actress Nadita Dash in the title role (Afia) has done pure justice with the movie. She decides to be mother through sperm donation in the movie.

This anthology film directed by Onir got National Award in 2012 in the Best Hindi Film and Best lyrics category. The movie has also won the best Asian Film Award at the International Film Festival of Kerala. Needless is to say that its critical response was incredible. However, unfortunately, the movie didn’t work well at the box office. Biggest irony was that the movie was released only in 67 screens in India. Leading media groups had shown concerns over failing of such movies at the box office. Leading daily The Times of India had cited the movie being “restricted only to discerning audience” is a reason behind its poor collection.

Interesting trivia and struggles about the film:

There are many interesting trivia about the movie. It was initially started as a short film. Later, the makers found four other short films, and ultimately got an idea to interlink each other. To be specific about Afia, it was initially made to take a dig at the corruptions in NGOs, but later focused on sperm donation. Nandita Dash was brought in to the star cast only after the sperm donation concept finalized.

Among others, the “Abhimanyu” story was initially scripted as a full length movie for Karisma Kapoor. It was supposed to be her comeback movie. Well, it was Karisma only who pulled herself out from the concept. After Karisma pulled her out, Onir decided to make it with male protagonist and reduced the length to convert in to a short movie. The locations were also changed accordingly. The team had to face a lot of struggle during the shoot as well. To be specific, the crew were attacked while shooting in Srinagar. In fact, they had received threats from the Kashmiri tourists. The team had to change locations for Kashmir shoots for the same.

Well, the maker must have felt quite satisfied after the movie bagged national award and other awards in various category.

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