Directed by Sonejuhi Sinha, Stray Dolls centers on Riz (Geetanjali Thapa), an Indian immigrant who gets a job as a motel maid that is owned by Una (Cynthia Nixon), a woman who is as corrupt as they come. Una’s son Jimmy (Robert Aramayo) is a drug dealer and his girlfriend Dallas (Olivia DeJonge) will also do anything to survive. Riz also holds a criminal past, and she will need to use these instincts to survive an altogether toxic and tragic environment.
Stray Dolls, a female centric narrative which is infused by film noir flourishes, is Sinha’s feature directing debut, and she holds a personal connection to the narrative (which she co-wrote).
“I myself grew up in India and immigrated to America and sort of went through that transition and duality,” said Sinha. “I wanted to develop those themes into this story and sort of bring to screen central characters that we had never seen before. I wanted to play with genre elements but at the same time the central character is an Indian immigrant. She’s queer. It’s a queer love story so at the same time I wanted to play with these elements that we had never seen in this kind of space.”
Click on the media bar to hear Sinha discuss the challenge of getting a work visa for Geetanjali Thapa to star in her film:
Stray Dolls is now out on VOD via Samuel Goldwyn Films.