We all have an embarrassing memory of coming across a sexual scene during a film, but what about the actual people on camera, and even those behind it?

Filmmaking requires a great deal of delicate, focused work. While we’re all familiar with the roles of casting, assistant, and photography directors, intimacy is a key part of many scenes. Therefore, the industry has started ensuring that intimacy directors make the experience as comfortable and creatively free as possible.

While intimacy directors or coordinators are necessary, they’re also a relatively recent addition to sets. Even in Hollywood, widespread demand for a safeguard against sexual misconduct flared up largely in 2017 – in the wake of the Weinstein scandal and a global #MeToo movement.

Slowly but surely, intimacy directors have become a staple of modern filmmaking – and finally have made a much-needed entry into India. This was recently highlighted when author Aseem Chhabra made a subtle yet poignant realization:

Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan seems to be the first major Indian feature to credit its intimacy coordinator Dar Gai right on the film poster – a serious achievement that drew several compliments online. Followers noted how the choice to feature Gai was a welcome surprise, leaving them ‘impressed’ and ‘excited’.

Twitter users also noted how female coordinators have massively equalized the way sex scenes are shot – taking away male-gaze narratives and giving performers a chance to give a comfortable, truly authentic performance.

Dar Gai’s Career

Dar Gai TEDx

Dar Gai, who is from Kyiv, Ukraine, spent ten years in Europe before coming to India, where she initially joined as a German and Theatre instructor for the well-known Scindia School for Boys, Gwalior.

“India became a major source of inspiration for my scripts,” said Gai, in a 2018 interview with Variety. “I remember the time when I was coming up with at least three feature film ideas every day. I felt a strong sense of connection with Indian culture. I felt at home.”

True. Gai didn’t venture too far once she made a home in the subcontinent. After her directorial debut with 2018’s Three and a Half, followed by Namdev Bhau: In Search of Silence, and several other projects as a producer, director and writer.

You’re also probably familiar with Gai’s work as a music video director; she’s the mind behind Ritviz’s Liggi and Prateek Kuhad’s cold/mess:

For Gehraiyaan, Gai will likely handle coordination, consent between performers, proper communication protocols, and more. While plot details regarding the film are under wraps, we can make an educated guess that much of Gai’s work will be between actors Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturveri, Ananya Pandey, and Dhairya Karwa:

Gehraiyaan is slated for an Amazon Prime release on the 11th of February.

(Image Sources: TEDx IIM Ahmedabad, Dharma Productions, Amazon Prime Video)