THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the local release of even a Mammootty or a Mohanlal film has been blocked, three young Malayalam filmmakers will pave the way for future filmmakers by premiering their off-beat works at the holiest basilica of art house cinema: Festival de Cannes.
This is the first time relatively unknown filmmakers like Rupesh Paul or N K Sajiv Menon are taking their feature films to the Cannes.
Manu Solomon, who made the award-winning documentary ‘Goli’ in 2006, will feature his short ‘French Revolution’ in the short-film corner at Cannes. These filmmakers will not be competing for the Palme d’Or or the Grand Prix or the Un Certain Regard or even the Short Film Palme d’Or. They are taking their films to Marche du Film or the Film Market which will be held parallel to the Cannes Film Festival.
“Marche du Film is the biggest and most busiest film market in the world. There is no better place in the world where filmmakers can hope to sell their films, scripts, even ideas and fish for co-producers,’’ Rupesh Paul said. ‘Daddy, You Bastard’ and ‘Janthu’ (The Beast) are the two Rupesh Paul feature films that will be shown at Marche du Film. ‘Daddy, You Bastard’ was co-directed by N K Sajiv Menon who is also the producer of the film. While Rupesh has scripted both the films, his scripts are based on stories by Indu Menon.
Sajiv Menon’s target is to strike at least four co-productions at Marche du Film. Besides their features, Sajiv and Rupesh will be taking with them four full scripts dealing with inter-cultural themes.
“Themes that have a resonance in other cultures hold greater promise for co-productions. Our four stories are based in Kerala but will have a cross-cultural element,’’ Rupesh said.
For instance, one of the scripts is about sevens football in North Kerala where they rope footballers from Latin America. “I could make it this year because the festival effected a change in policy. All this while it accepted only film prints. But from this year on the festival allowed entry for features made in any format,’’ Rupesh said.
The biggest advantage of being featured at the Marche du Film is that these films are easily selected for other major festivals. “I have mailed my films to all major film festivals.
But nothing has happened. But once you are seen at Cannes, you are taken seriously. And what’s more, your film will get at least a two-year run in the world film festival circuit,’’ Rupesh said. Rupesh knows a film like ‘Janthu’, which is made in the near-extinct tribal Adaya language and features some stunning visuals of the tribal black magic ‘gaddika’, cannot hope to get a screening in the State.
Manu Solomon is also confident about his short film’s prospects. “At the Short Film Corner, the heads of film acquisition of major distributors and producers will be present. Further, a filmmaker will get 10 minutes to make a pitch for his next short film project before these short film buyers,’’ Manu said.