The creators of Navarasa, the nine-part Tamil anthology, want to make more films to support more people and Mani Ratnam even suggested finding a 10th rasa (emotion) if that meant getting more people on board, said Jayendra Panchpakesan.
The comment from Jayendra, who conceived the project along with the veteran filmmaker, came during a virtual fan event on Thursday ahead of the anthology’s release on Friday.
The anthology is an initiative to raise funds to support those in the cinema industry who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent crisis. The project is produced under the banner of Justickets, in association with AP International and Wide Angle Creations as executive producers.
Featuring a large ensemble star cast, Navarasa has nine segments directed by filmmakers Bejoy Nambiar, Priyadarshan, Karthick Naren , Sarjun KM, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Karthik Subbaraj, Vasanth, Arvind Swami, and Rathindran R Prasad. Each segment is based on one of the nine rasas – anger, compassion, courage, disgust, fear, laughter, love, peace, and wonder.
The two-hour-long fan event, which began with a musical rendition depicting each emotion, comprised of multiple short interactions with the cast and crew.
One such interaction featured Parvathy Thiruvothu, who stars with Siddharth in Rathindran’s segment Inmai, which focuses on the emotion of fear. She said, “I was excited when Siddharth called me to be part of the project. I didn’t realise that it was for a great cause.” The actor added that she got to know about the idea behind the project, and the rest of the cast and crew involved, only later. “From then, there was no looking back.” Parvathy also said that she likes fear because it serves as an inspiration for her to go beyond. She added that she experienced the emotion before committing to this anthology as well. “Before I said yes to the project, there were three Zoom calls and I kept asking questions. It was scary in a good way.”
Sarjun, who has directed the segment on courage, Thunintha Pin, said his short was the toughest one in terms of production. “The screenplay and dialogues were by Mani sir, so I had more responsibility to translate it properly on screen. Definitely, out of the nine, it was the toughest in terms of production, be it story-wise, staging, or locations.”
Menon’s segment, Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru, which deals with love, stars actors Suriya and Prayaga Martin. The filmmaker said, “Mine is a trippy film that happens in one evening. It is about 35 minutes long and is a musical. It’s a very intense film because it is about love and attraction.”
Jayendra concluded the event by noting that the initiative will support 12,000 people and their target to raise Rs 15 crores has almost been reached. Bhoomika Trust, a Chennai-based NGO, has been enlisted to deliver aid to the members of the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI). “We have distributed ICICI pre-paid cards via Bhoomika Trust and each member will get Rs 1500 deposited monthly in the card to use at grocery stores,” he added.
Navarasa is set to premiere on Netflix at 12.30 pm on Friday.