Completed production of UK independent feature film The Effects of Lying

British independent comedy feature The Effects of Lying has completed post-production and will be screened at the BAFTA for Distributors.

Written by James Hey (Doctors) and directed by Isher Sahota (Hollyoaks), the film follows a dutiful husband and loving father whose life is thrown off balance when decades of simmering secrets are exposed and he forced to face up to who he really is. The cast includes Ace Bhatti (Bohemian Rhapsody, Line of Duty), Laila Rouass (Holby City, Spooks), Navin Chowdhry (The End of the F***ing World, Our Girl ‘), Shaheen Khan (‘Mogul Mowgli’), Lauren Patel (‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’), Adam Bregman (‘Tolkien’, ‘Genius’) and Mark Williams (the Harry Potter franchise).

diversity spoke to the film’s cast and crew on set in London during principal photography.

The central family in the film happens to be British Asian. “It’s not a British Asian film. It’s a film about family, about secrets, about loss, about longing,” says Sahota of the project, which marks his feature film debut.

The Effects of Lying is being released in a market that is increasingly receptive to the consumption of diverse content. “That’s what cultural conversation is about now — it feels different now, it’s about representation and just different experiences,” Sahota adds. “This is a very universal story, but hopefully people will be more open and it won’t become a niche thing. I want that to go mainstream.”

Bhatti says of his character: “Within 24 hours he gets hit by three huge bombs – things he didn’t know. Things he didn’t expect, that should never have come out. But they do, and he has to deal with it emotionally. We’ve all been through these at some level. And when you talk to the other cast members, everyone knows someone who’s experienced at least one of those things.”

Laila Rouass, who plays Bhatti’s wife in the film, describes her character: “She feels like she’s been given her best years and she’s upset and frustrated. She’s gotten to a point where she doesn’t care. She will live her life by her rules.”

“The storyline is great because there’s always surprise after surprise,” adds Rouass. “It’s a family on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

Going forward, the film’s team is hoping for a harmonious future that includes both a theatrical release and a streaming life. “It’s really nice that these independent films and these stories are accessible to a wider audience, that people can watch them on their phones or at home or on the plane or the train,” says Lauren Patel, who plays a central role in the film . “But there’s also something really beautiful about going to the cinema and sharing an experience with people, and I love that we have both options for the film.”

The Bonaparte Films production is being produced by Jon Tarcy, an actor whose credits include Outlander and Doctors. He has produced several short films including In Memoriam Dr. HGK’s The Effects of Lying is his first feature film as a producer. Eager to tell the story as quickly as possible, the team chose not to go through the time-consuming process of applying for film money and grants. The project was pitched to potential investors across the UK and funding eventually came from four investors including a former studio head and a television personality.

“There’s a gap in the market for something like this – a varied, exciting comedy,” says Tarcy, who is now preparing the film for a festival launch.

“We’re hoping for wide distribution, especially among our cast members, as many of them have international audiences themselves,” adds Tarcy.

The Effects of Lying will be screening at BAFTA on July 29th. Completed production of UK independent feature film The Effects of Lying

Charles Jones

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