Every year, when the International Film Festival begins, the first film to be watched and judged by the audience is not the opening film, but the signature film of the edition. Unlike previous years, this time, the IFFK has been very special. The government decided to hold the film jamboree after much contemplation considering the struggles after the floods that hit the state. When the Kerala Chalachitra Academy pitched in and decided to finally go ahead with the fest, the theme for the signature film became ‘Rebuild Kerala’.
The signature film, as usual, opens with the image of the crow pheasant upon which a rain drop falls. What follows are the reminiscences of the dark days and the inspiring show of strength Keralites witness during the floods. From the flood waters emerge, the iconic Lanka Lakshmi, the IFFK logo designed by late film maker G. Aravindan. When the crowd cheers for the 40-second video at the film screening venues, its maker, Arun Sripadam sits among the audience, silently enjoying the responses. An elated Arun says it is a proud moment for him and his team.
“The idea behind the film was to serve as a reminder to the people. The floods were a time when our people showed never-before-seen unity, took charge of the situation without waiting for the government machinery to act. From such a proud scenario, 100 days later, things are a little different. People who have been making emergency interventions seem to have diverted their focus from rebuilding the state. The video is a reminder of our struggles and how we overcame,” says Arun, a short film and animation film maker who runs a studio in Bengaluru.
Another factor that inspired him was the determination of film buffs and the Academy. “The deicison to hold IFFK this time was a hard one and it was so inspiring to see everyone rallying behind the idea, finally making it happen, proving that rebuilding is not just a government mission, but of each and every citizen. And together, we can make it happen,” says the Changanassery native.
Arun came to know about the Academy inviting entries from a friend and he was quick to send a story board. Luckily, from among the over 30 entries, he made it to the top three. “When we developed it a little more and submitted the second story board, the academy was impressed and we were chosen. We came to know about it on November 10. Hardly a fortnight was left for the work. I am glad that people loved it,” he says.
The signature film has its music composed by Aby Salvin Thomas and designs by Abhishek Surendran. While Aswarth Sadhu, Sumesh Raghavan and Arun himself worked as the animation artistes, the sound design and sound FX were handled by Suraj Shankar and Joby Sony Thomas respectively....