Mrunal Thakur in "Love Sonia" (2018)

Mrunal Thakur in Love Sonia (2018)

Love Sonia is the harrowing account of two sisters robbed of their innocence when one is sold by her debt-ridden father, and the other tries to rescue her but becomes trapped in the “flesh trade” herself. A troublesome and challenging journey that takes us through the red-light districts of Mumbai and Hong Kong and the rich prostitution rings of Los Angeles. This 2018 Indian film directed by Tabrez Noorani, his directorial debut, and produced by David Womark, was inspired by real life events and the atrocious world of international sex trafficking. Love Sonia features newcomer Mrunal Thakur as the title character along with Riya Sisodiya,  Freida Pinto, and Demi Moore, among many others. Love Sonia had its world premiere at the London Indian Film Festival on June 21, 2018, and was released in India, with great acclaim, in September 2018. In November it was the opening night film of the Asian World Film Festival, in the presence of Frieda Pinto. It was filmed in Mumbai, Jaipur, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles.

Love Sonia clearly describes the total loss of innocence of a child, and how she faces the hard reality of life in a most unexpected way. Noorani was inspired to make the film after he was introduced to the tragedy of human trafficking in Los Angeles in 2003, when some girls were found in a shipping container from China. One of them was a young Indian girl. The incident inspired Noorani to work with non-governmental organizations focused on trafficking in Los Angeles. He has also participated in several brothel raids.

Noorano and Womark worked together, as producers, on Danny's Boyle Slumdog Millionaire and Ang Lee's Life of Pi. Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) jumped at the chance to play a role in Love Sonia: “This film is a must-see story: I know these girls, I know this evil, and wanted absolutely to do something about it, as an artist, to talk about this plague, scream against it!”

Love Sonia won the best Indie Film Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2018. Director Tabrez Noorani said: "After the incredible audience reactions in London and Melbourne, I am thrilled that the movie is now being released back home in India, and hopefully worldwide. I am blessed with a powerful ensemble cast and all of them have contributed to make this film special." The film was loved by most Bollywood celebrities, who have called it “very powerful”, and “a film that you can't turn your eyes off, like pretending this terrible problem does not exist.”