PANAJI: Online streaming platforms and traditional cinemas will coexist, said Mahesh Narayanan, director of Ariippu, which will be screened in the Indian Panorama section of the 53rd International Film Festival of India. He spoke to the media and delegates at the IFFI Table Talks organized by PIB on the sidelines of the film festival.
Shedding more light on the subject, Mahesh Narayanan said that in the old days, independent filmmakers had no choice but Doordarshan to broadcast their films. “But now there are many platforms that support them. Either way, a filmmaker can exist through certain platforms. But not every platform will accept every movie. It largely depends on what kind of actors they have, on how feasible they are in terms of funding and budgeting,” he added.
But this does not mean that the collective viewing of films will stop, the director noted. He went on to add that the beauty of the film festival lies in the collective viewing. “It’s very difficult for me to make a film for a digital platform. In cinemas, people spend a certain amount of time sitting in front of a screen and watching a certain movie. But on the digital platform, people have multiple options to skip, fast forward, rewind, or change what they’re watching. It is difficult for filmmakers to make films for OTT platforms,” he said.
Referring to Ariyappu, Mahesh Narayanan said it was a migrant story about the working class and the problems they face. “It also looks at how the pandemic has affected skilled factory workers and how situations change when delicate issues arise in their lives,” he added. The film is dedicated to the socially relevant topic of our time – modern technologies that mediate interpersonal interactions. It is also a powerful film on the complex subject of man-woman relationships.
The film was filmed in Delhi during the second phase of the Covid pandemic by a limited film crew facing many difficulties. Alluding to the pan-Indian nature of the film, Mahesh Narayanan said that although the storyline follows a pair of migrants from Kerala, the characters speak multiple languages such as Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil.
The film’s producer Shebin Baker, actress Divyaprabha P.G. also took part in the conversation. and Sanu cinematographer John Varghese.
Ariippu tells the story of Harish and Reshmi, a pair of Kerala immigrants working in a medical glove factory near Delhi. They tend to go abroad in search of a better life. During the lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, when a falsified video resurfaces among factory workers, it opens a Pandora’s box that threatens the couple’s work and marriage.