Lijo Jose Pellisery at IFFI 2018

Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellisery has said that cinema should not be categorised into regional or national.

“Let’s not categorise it [cinema] into commercial and parallel. Let’s categorise it into good cinema and bad cinema; that will be easier for filmmakers and audience,” he said, speaking at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji, Goa.

Lijo’s Ee.Ma.Yau (2018) is being screened at the festival. Ee. Ma. Yau is a satire set in a coastal village of Kerala. The film is about the events that unfold after the death of Vavachan Mestri.

Answering a question about the sound and music used to go with the visuals in Ee.Ma.Yau, Pellisery said, “Ee.Ma.Yau has hardly any music, it’s only sound. Whatever is there in the film, what you see, hear is the atmospherics. The band playing in the ambience is part of the funeral.

Put any religion’s name in Ee. Ma. Yau. you’ll find same issues: Lijo Jose Pellissery

“There is only one piece of music in the whole film that is the last 30-40 seconds. What is part of the soundscape is not music. But I treated it like music, even though there is no score, it functioned for me like music.”

He also mentioned that he fancies long takes as the emotions and entire array of events are not cut, making it interesting for the filmmaker. 

Speaking about the Marathi film Aamhi Doghi (2018), director Pratima Joshi said that it was based on short story Paus Aala Motha, written by novelist Gauri Deshpande in 1973. Aamhi Doghi is about a rebellious young girl, and her relationship with her stepmother. 

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Pratima Joshi

Joshi stressed on the relevance of the story of two women played by actresses Mukta Barve and Priya Bapat. When asked about casting the two, Joshi said, “Gauri Deshpande’s story was ahead of its times. The story of relationships is relevant even today. When I was reading the story, some faces of actresses started coming before my eyes. My character Savi (played by Bapat), is very transparent, she speaks her mind. Priya Bapat is that kind of girl in real life as well as an actress. And Mukta Barve is an actress who doesn’t need words to express. She can express just by her screen presence. That’s why I cast them both and they gave their 100% to my film.”

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Joshi also said that she does not agree with the statement that women are enemies of women. “I never experienced this with my actresses, or my producer [Pooja Chhabria], costume designer, or any of the women on the team. I think it’s just made up and the root of this thinking could be our male dominated society,” she said.

Why director Pratima Joshi had to wait for a year to make Aamhi Doghi

The director spoke about how her journey became easy after she found her producers. She proudly declared how she finished shooting, post-production, and released in just four months. Aamhi Doghi ran for four weeks in the theatres, she claimed.

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