What happens when two individuals with different outlooks are thrown together? And what if they are father and son? Don Palathara’s Vith is built on this interesting premise. The film is woven around Joseph, a religious farmer from a Central Travancore village. He leads an orderly, peaceful life until his son returns home leaving his job. “Along capturing their life from a neutral point of view the film examines the conflict between two different generations,” says the director.
The black and white film, shot with minimal camera movements and cuts, was completed at a shoestring budget of 1.5 lakhs. “We had a crew of less than 10 and a maximum of 15 personnal at any time on the location. About 70% of the shooting expenses were covered via crowd funding. For the rest, I had to use the small amount we got from my last film’s distribution via cinemavandi,” says Don who had earlier made Savam, that was screened at a handful of international festivals that support films of experimental nature. The film was part of Toronto Film Week, Venice film week, International Open Film Festival Dhaka (finalist), Sweedish international film festival, Firestone international experimental film festival, Indiewire film festival and Italy International Film Festival.
The director says in Vith he has attempted to use time and certain life situations in real-time as a device to convey certain ideas rather than using exposition. “In the editing process, any cut that doesn’t mark a shift in the thoughts of any of the characters is avoided.
Even the action sequences are shot with static camera shots to make the camera as invisible as possible. There are several ellipsis used in the narration, which demands an active participation from the viewer,” he adds. While Pradeep Kumar, Jain Syriac Babu and Jay Kish step into lead roles, Vishnu Vedh, Archana Padmini, Rukya Beevi, Baiju Balan, John Xavior, Sameen Salim and Mathews are also part of the cast. Vithu, scripted by Don Palathara and Abhilash Melethil, has Subal K R cranking the camera.