After his first feature film, “Unfreedom,” dealing with issues of sexuality and violence, was banned in India but released in the U.S. in 2015, Indian filmmaker Raj Amit Kumar has begun work on his second film in Butte, Montana.
Titled, “Shopping Mall,” Kumar told The Montana Standard recently that “Shopping Mall” follows the lives of three men — a 17-year-old high-school student, an African American Marine who has returned from war, and a poor heavy-set man — who find themselves in the chaos of a mass shooting at a shopping mall.
The film, according to the publication, delves into the men’s experiences leading up to the shooting and leaves viewers wondering whether the characters are the perpetrators of the shooting or its victims.
Filming for “Shopping Mall” could begin sometime after October, Kumar told The Montana Standard, adding that he’s spent about six weeks in Montana raising money, consulting with economic development officials, location hunting and sending out a casting call. Kumar said that he has not settled on a location for the mall scenes yet, but that the movie will nonetheless be a “Butte film.”
He said he selected Butte mostly as a result of the city’s Covellite International Film Festival and its co-founder Don Andrews, who has served as a kind of unofficial spokesperson for the idea that “everybody should come and make a movie in Butte,” Kumar said. Kumar also screened “Unfreedom” at the above said film fest in September 2016.
Kumar, born in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, has a Ph.D. in cinema and media studies from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, and has presented his work at various film festivals in India and the U.S.