Stanley Joseph’s My Cornerstone in cinemas from 9 Oct

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Stanley Joseph’s My Cornerstone, an Australian-Indian romantic comedy filmed in Sydney and greater NSW as well as in Mumbai, will premiere on 9 October Thursday at Event Cinemas and Village Cinmeas in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. The story engages with contemporary issues in both Australian society and Indian communities.
My Cornerstone’s cast includes actors from Australia and India. The film’s lead actress, 24-year-old Indian-Australian Zenia Starr, was recently crowned Miss India Australia and represented Australia as a contestant in Miss India Worldwide beauty pageant. As a result of her role in My Cornerstone and other productions including the recent Australian indie film Backyard Ashes (in which she co-starred with veteran TV star John Wood), Zenia is becoming a renowned name in both Bollywood and Australasian film industries.
Zenia plays Adina David, an Indian nurse who secures a job in Sydney through an employment agent in Mumbai. “Adina was somebody I felt increasingly attached to as I first read the script,” Zenia says. “Her desire to stay true to her cultural roots despite the pressures of popular society is something I respect. I was also intrigued by the fact that the story sought to marry Indian and Australian cultures, promoting the best of both. Being an Indian-Australian, this is obviously very familiar territory for me.”
Besides the romance aspect, the story also deals with arranged marriages, slavery of women and the complexity of multiculturalism. The latter is exemplified by a character called Miriam who acts as a voice of racism against Indians, even though she is Indian-Australian herself.
“Most Indian migrants take pride in their roots. However, there is a minority who have superficially over-assimilated in order to fit in,” Zenia says of Miriam and her attitudes. “The intention is probably to feel more accepted in a foreign land, but it is unfortunate that it can drive people to be hierarchial amongst their own community. I hope this film reveals how unattractive that attitude is”.
Stanley Joseph of World Pictures Australia PTY Ltd, is a well-known musician and Bollywood composer turned director who now lives in Sydney. The film’s storyline reflects some of his own experiences as an Indian migrant in Australia. My Cornerstone is Stanley’s second feature film to date (with a third feature currently in post-production and due for release in 2015).
The twist is that this is the first of two films that were shot simultaneously by Stanley and his cast and crew. The second film, Love You Krishna, is also an East-meets-West drama and will be released in cinemas in 2015.
My Cornerstone and Love You Krishna were both filmed all over Sydney and in Mumbai,” says Stanley. “Our entire cast and crew had to dig very deep to make two films at once. The shooting schedule was completed in 36 days, which is a big achievement in itself.”
During the Australian-leg of the shoot, cast and crew huddled together for several weeks in a house in Coogee, Sydney, where much of the filming took place. “It was like family, there were 20 or 30 people living together at all times. It was long working hours but an amazing experience,” he says.

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Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney

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