Miriam Lyons - Writer/Producer/Director. Miriam is a passionate, perceptive and experienced Shooting Producer/Director. Over the last ten years, she has made factual television programmes about a wide range of subjects – from love and loss to sex and death to protest and democracy. Miriam’s directorial debut came in 2005 with MISH KIDS for Channel 4. A series of short documentaries about religious teenagers struggling with their identity, it won Pick of the Day in The Guardian. Three years later, she was named one of Broadcast’s Hot Shot Directors. In 2010, she directed a unique television event THE PEOPLE SPEAK for History which received four out of five stars in Time Out and was co-produced and co-directed by Colin Firth. Since then, Miriam has directed programmes for a range of broadcasters, including BBC1, BBC3, Channel 5 and National Geographic. Miriam also produces documentary-style digital content across the public, private and charitable sectors. In 2013, she won nine awards including Gold at Eurobest, Silver at Cannes and a Silver British Arrow for BAD PRESS, a commercial she produced with CHI & PARTNERS for the Princes Trust. THE LOVE COMMANDOS is her first independently co-produced documentary film.
Teddy Leifer - Executive Producer. Teddy founded Rise Films in 2007 and has since produced or executive produced all of its films and television programmes including 2013 Oscar nominee, THE INVISIBLE WAR. A three-time Emmy winner, his producer and executive producer credits include THE INTERRUPTERS, WE ARE TOGETHER, ROUGH AUNTIES, KNUCKLE, DREAMCATCHER and WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL? starring Gael García Bernal. Teddy has produced films for broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4, PBS, Showtime and HBO, which have gone on to win multiple awards at the Sundance Film Festival. He is the producer of ITV2's multi award-winning Roman sitcom, PLEBS. The first series was the channel's highest rating comedy ever. Teddy was recently listed in the "100 most innovative and influential people in British creative and media industries" by the Guardian newspaper. In 2014, he won a Peabody Award and was nominated for a BAFTA.
John Stack – Producer. John Stack is a freelance producer with experience in high end broadcast and feature documentaries that have been screened at festivals, in cinemas and on broadcast and digital outlets around the world. He was associate producer on recent Sundance award-winning film Dreamcatcher, directed by Kim Longinotto, which aired on US network Showtime. Other credits include Oscar nominee The Invisible War for US public broadcaster PBS, Emmy award-winning The Interrupters directed by Steve James for PBS and BBC Storyville, Sundance hit KNUCKLE for the Irish Film Board and BBC Storyville, Too Fast to be a Woman? for BBC2, and smash hit ITV2 sitcom Plebs. John produced Miriam Lyons-directed The Love Commandos along with Executive producer Teddy Leifer and executive-produced Chancers, a Ben Lewis-directed doc for BBC4’s Storyville strand. John was a part of Sheffield Doc/Fest's inaugural Future Producer school in 2014 and won a Broadcast International Rising Star award in 2015.
Making The Film
One cold and rainy day in London 2010, I read an article about a group of fearless men risking everything for strangers’ love lives in India. What struck me the most was their steadfast commitment to protecting young people in the face of societal opposition, mounting debts and death threats. It was to be the start of an epic five-year journey to tell the story of the Love Commandos.
Over the next few years, travelling back and forth to Delhi to film, I had the privilege of getting to know Sanjoy, Harsh and their team and witnessed first-hand how they help countless couples escape from the violent oppression of their families.
When I first met the Love Commandos, I was touched by their humility, courage and sense of humour. Like any family, they have their ups and downs. During production, we experienced illness, theft and heartbreak but also celebrated birthdays, watched the cricket and danced together. Five years on, they still move me. I hope they move you too.