PANAJI: Online streaming platforms and traditional cinema theatres are going to co-exist, said Mahesh Narayanan, Director of the film Ariyippu which is being screened at the Indian Panorama section of 53rd International Film Festival of India. He was speaking to media and delegates at IFFI Table Talks organised by PIB on the sidelines of the film festival.
Throwing more light on the topic, Mahesh Narayanan said that in earlier days independent film-makers didn’t have a choice other than Doordarshan to broadcast their films. “But now there are many platforms which support them. One way or other the film maker can exist through certain platforms. But every platform won’t be accepting every film. That depends a lot on the kind of actors they have, the kind of feasibility they get in through in terms of financing and budgeting”, he added.
But that doesn’t mean that collective viewing of cinema is going to end, the Director pointed out. He further added that the beauty of film festival is collective viewing. “It is very difficult for me to make a film for digital platform. In theatres, people are investing a certain amount of time to sit in front of a screen to watch a specific movie. But in digital platform, people have multiple options to skip, forward, rewind or change what they are watching. It is challenging for film makers to do films for OTT platforms”, he said.
Touching upon the film Ariyippu, Mahesh Narayanan said that it is a migrant’s story about labour class and the problems they are dealing with. “It also tells about how pandemic treated skilled labourers working in factories and how situations change with delicate problems happening in their lives,” he added. The film deals with a socially relevant subject of our times-modern technology mediating interpersonal interactions. It is also a powerful film on the complex theme of a man-woman relationship.
The film was shot in Delhi during the second phase of Covid pandemic with a limited crew, facing many difficulties. Hinting about the pan Indian nature of the film Mahesh Narayanan said that though the story line follows a migrant couple from Kerala, the characters speak multiple languages like Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil.
Producer of the film Shebin Backer, Actress Divyaprabha P.G and Cinematographer Sanu John Varghese also participated in the conversation.
Ariyippu tells the tale of Hareesh and Reshmi, an immigrant couple from Kerala working in a medical gloves factory near Delhi. They aspire to go abroad for a better life. During the Covid pandemic lockdown, when a manipulated video resurfaces among the factory workers, it opens up a Pandora ’s Box that threatens the couple’s jobs and marriage.