Generally, one writes a story and then selects locations.
“I had gone to Sweden for a film festival. I saw few locations and I was inspired,” said Ahire, during an exclusive conversation with Cinestaan.com.
“I felt a beautiful film could be made here. I wrote the story and made [producer] Praveen Nishchol sir listen to it. He got excited. We also got support from our associate producer from Sweden,” said Ahire.
Sharing the film’s story, he said that Dear Molly is about a girl whose parents go to Sweden when she is four, never to return. “She has a few letters written by them. When she finishes her studies, she goes to trace them through the letters. The film is about what she experiences there, why they didn’t return and what else is revealed to her,” he said.
The film sees debutant Gurbani Gill play the titular role of Molly. Ahire selected her through an unusual process. “I auditioned a few girls and had a voting process. She got selected through voting,” he said.
The film also stars prominent Marathi film actors Ashwini Giri, Mrunmayee Godbole and Alok Rajwade.
The director revealed that 80% of the film is shot in Sweden and 20% in Pune. “It was a new country for me to shoot, so I enjoyed it. I didn’t want to make a typical tourist film. We shot in the smallest of its villages and unexplored places,” he said.
When asked about the challenges of shooting in a new country, he said that there were none as their associate producer Kunnie Topden handled everything and made it easy for them. “When you work in a country and its culture you don’t know much, you keep getting enriched. I will shoot again in a foreign country,” he said.
Dear Molly also stars local Swedish actors Lia Boysen, Chris Holmgren and Fernando Carabeli. “They were all adorable actors and they got involved in the film,” said Ahire. The film will be released in Hindi and English.
The director was overwhelmed by the help he received from the local population. “They helped us in an amazing way, especially our driver. They all gathered on the last day of the shoot and threw a party. People gave their homes for shooting. I got the shoot easily in their train and boat. I was able to use their real policemen as actors,” recalled Ahire happily and added that he also got invitations to give lectures in their colleges.
Ahire has previously directed Pimpal (2018) and Sohalla (2019) among many other films.