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From the director’s chair

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Day six of IFFI 2018 saw directors Lijo Jose Pellissery, Ram and Pratima Joshi talking about their respective films ‘Ee Ma Yau’ (Malayalam) ‘Perambu’ (Tamil) and ‘Aamhi Doghi’ (Marathi) which are part of the Indian Panorama Feature Film category.

‘Perambu’ focuses on how a single father has to take care of his daughter who suffers from Spastic Paralysis and how a transgender helps them start a new life. The idea for this film, he says, came after he met a parent who had a daughter with spastic paralysis about six to seven years ago. “I also worked with a lot of such parents to understand day to day issues and parental issues,” said Ram. The film stars award winning actor Mammooty. “This is the first time that I had such a big star in my film. I think when you work with an artist who knows what acting is filmmaking becomes easy. Mammooty transformed the character and took it to a new league and I think this comes from experience,” says Ram, who also had words of appreciation for Yuvan Shankar Raja who did the music for the film. “I have worked with him before. He always understands the soul of the story and tries to give music to the sub text of the scene,” said Ram.

The film had its India premiere at IFFI 2018, after having its world premiere at Rotterdam and the Asia premiere at Shanghai. “The Indian audience’s level of understanding film and film artists is far ahead,” he said.

Speaking about ‘Aamhi Doghi’, her first feature film, Pratima Joshi said that she based the film on the short story Paus Ala Motha by Gauri Deshpande. The film tells the story of a young girl who is very independent and does not like to display her emotions, often at the cost of relationships in her life. Her illiterate step mother then steps in and helps her realise that being emotional is not being foolish. “Deshpande wrote the story in 1973. She was a very forward thinking writer and what she wrote about people can relate to today,” said Joshi, adding that both the lead actresses have given their 100 per cent on screen.

‘Ee Ma Yau’ centres on the deep ethical crisis simmering in the Latin Catholic community. While the film does not have any music apart from the last part of the film, Pellissery has used ambient sound to function as music. He also stated that he enjoys using long takes in films. Replying to a question about the adequate representation of regional cinema at film festivals he said: “Let’s consider cinema not as region or national. Let’s not categorise it as commercial and parallel. Let’s instead say good or bad cinema.”

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