With millions of people all over the world struggling to find enough food to eat, the fact that millions of tons of food are tossed out every year can be surprising. But it is true. Food wastage is a huge problem in developed countries and it is a serious economic and environmental issue. But still, we don’t have a good means to prevent or reduce it. The first thing is to make people aware. Documentaries and short films that talk about the issue can help.
Malayalam director Pradeep Nair has made a new short film about food wastage. Maa (Do Not Anymore in Sanskrit) is a bilingual short film in Malayalam and Tamil. Though it has hardly any dialogues, it has the power to make the viewer sit back and think about food wastage. “This is just not an international issue. You don’t have to look anywhere else but at your own life to see how much you are ‘contributing’ to this issue. It is shocking how much food is getting wasted every day in each household and other places. So the issue has always been boiling inside me and I decided to do it when it was the right time.”
Pradeep, the director of the highly acclaimed movie Oridam, which bagged numerous accolades, says a private company that has been working in food manufacturing and an exporter of food machines approached him. He did not think twice before doing the work. With all the experience gained over these years, he delivers the topic brilliantly in this 6-minute-long movie. Award-winning Ottal actor Kumarakom Vasudevan and actor Lalitha V. Kumar play important roles.
“I initially wanted to make it in Malayalam but eventually we decided to do it in Tamil as the company that approached me with this plan was based in Coimbatore,” he says. The short film has hardly any dialogues and when asked about it, Pradeep says it was not intentional. “When Vasudevan Thiyyadi did the script, I felt it should have more space for visuals than dialogues. And we went by the famous quote, ‘images speak more than words’. The scene at the apartment where so much food is lying on the table after a party and the maid’s reaction to it conveys more than a dialogue could.”
National award-winning cinematographer Nikhil S. Praveen’s visuals are on point and make it more appealing and relatable.
Food waste is a huge problem but it is possible to cut it down for the economy and the environment. And Pradeep thinks this will inspire people to think twice before wasting their food. He says a couple of activists working on collecting food for the needy came for the premier show of the short film at Coimbatore and met him. Pradeep Nair’s next will be a film that talks about a social issue in association with Vishnu Unnikrishnan.