Sruthi Hariharan, who is known to be vocal about women-centric issues, is focusing on domestic violence for her next short film. The actor-producer, who believes in short content, is working on her second such project, Rita, made under Kalathmika Productions.
“I believe that art can speak volumes, and entertainment, as an art form, plays a big role in bringing about change. After the language debate with my first venture, The Last Kannadiga, my next short film Rita is about marital rape and domestic abuse,” she says.
The film is directed by Rachan Ramachandra, and stars Abhinav Raj, Shreya Anchan and Roopa Nataraj, with Anoop Seelin scoring the music and cinematography by Karthik B Mallur. The trailer released over the weekend was hard-hitting. Sruthi plans to release the film this month end. “This is the first release for me this year. Even though I am not acting in the film, I am fortunate to have produced it,” says Sruthi, who talks to us about Rita.
“This is an important subject, something we all have to think about it. Especially, the last dialogue in the trailer, which means ‘every person’s pain and grief is individual and exclusive to that person’, is something I’ve tried to highlight has a lot to say,” she says.
“Today, the Constitution of India does not consider marital rape as a criminal offence,” says Sruthi, adding, “Such cases aren’t even accepted by police departments in villages, because it can’t be ‘proved’ in a court of law. This is something I have tried to explore in the sixteen-minute short film.”
But have Sruthi’s efforts in this regard helped in reaching the right kind of people? The actor-producer says that she is still trying. “May be I haven’t been able to reach the kind of audience, but I want to. I do know for the fact that those who follow me on social media feel that I am an opinionated person. When it comes to social issues, I have been vocal and have the support of people. I wish I had a bigger audience to acknowledge my kind of content. But everything comes with a commercial value, which I have tried building, but also want to go about it organically.”
Sruthi hopes that this short film gets noticed by the government. “That’s the best thing that can come out of this short film. The government isn’t really concerned about such issues,” she signs off.