Survival of the ttest: It will be a simple aair in contrast to opulent lms, says director Santhosh. File picture | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan
The first look of quasi-documentary to be unveiled in New York today
Call it a mere coincidence or destiny. Filmmaker Santhosh watched the Egyptian film, Clash, centred around the Arab Spring, the democratic uprising against Hosni Mubarak, just before the historic jallikattu protests erupted in Tamil Nadu.
“After seeing Clash, I was fascinated how they could do a movie set inside a big black van. This was in January just before the jallikattu protests began here. So, I took the camera, called my crew and went to the protest to shoot it. I was intrigued by what drove millions of people to protest against the ban,” said Mr. Santhosh, sitting in a coffee shop.
The first look of the film will be unveiled in Wall Street, New York City, on Sunday. “We will do it right by the Charging Bull to be symbolic. We also wanted to do it in New York City, because the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was also a leaderless, faceless protest albeit for a different cause, started here. The similarities between the two was also one of the reasons why I wanted to make this film,” he says. After spending seven days among the protesters and shooting over 200 hours of footage, he knew he had a film in his hands. “I just took my camera and went to shoot the protests because it was just fascinating to see millions congregating for a cause. Then, I thought why not make a film around what I had? Jallikattu (8-23) is a feature film, which has been made in a quasi-documentary fashion,” says Mr. Santhosh, who is also a movie consultant.
Working in tandem with his wife Nirupama Santhosh who is producing the film, Mr. Santhosh managed to get his actors and crew into the crowd and improvised. “I didn’t know what the characters were or their lines. We just improvised. After the protest concluded, and after soaking in the politics and the events around the protest, I wrote the back stories of the characters in the film. The film actually starts on January 8 and culminates in the protests,” he said. Mr. Santhosh claims that the film is the opposite of a big-budget film like Baahubali. “In a sense, we were lucky to be a part of history in which millions of people congregated voluntarily and we were able to shoot it,” he says.
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