Nearly 12,000 people, including 1,200 directors, 845 theatre operators, and nearly a thousand production assistants were among the beneficiaries of the proceeds that were raised by Navarasa, Netflix’s nine-part Tamil anthology.
Navarasa was presented by veteran filmmaker Mani Ratnam and writer-filmmaker Jayendra Panchapakesan. The antholgy, which released on August 6, was made as an initiative to raise funds to support those in the cinema industry who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crisis.
Based on the nine rasas (human emotions) – anger, compassion, courage, disgust, fear, laughter, love, peace, and wonder, the anthology brought together nine filmmakers to helm the nine shorts, along with a large star cast that included Suriya, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Yogi Babu, Arvind Swami, and Vijay Sethupathi, among others. According to the makers, all the talent and companies involved in the project offered their services pro bono.
The makers started to distribute prepaid cards to workers of the Tamil film industry, as early as March, in their effort to financially support about 12,000 people who lost their income.
Bhoomika Trust India, a Chennai-based NGO which collaborated with them to distribute the aid, released a video on Monday to illustrate how the Netflix anthology had benefited the members of the film industry.
“Since corona hit us, we have been facing untold sufferings. We struggled for three months. We did not know what to do. Can we go and beg? Nobody in the film industry will ever forget this help done for us during the corona pandemic,” AK Venu, a junior artist and one of the beneficiaries, said in the video.
Bhuvana, wife of painter Sargunam said, “There was no work. We could not find work even at construction sites. We were wondering what to do.”
“When I got to purchase groceries at the store [with the financial aid], I felt like a millionaire,” said James, another junior artist.
The beneficiaries were drawn from across nearly 30 categories of the film industry. The video also listed out the number of beneficiaries from each category.
Navarasa is currently streaming on Netflix.