Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS) “Moothon” director Geetu Mohandas is ecstatic about her film, which has been selected as the opening feature at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star.
Sharing her excitement, the actor-filmmaker told IANS: “I feel ecstatic. I feel excited because I came back from TIFF and now, we are heading for the MAMI opening, which couldn’t be better for an independent filmmaker like me. MAMI has given me such an amazing platform. So, I am very grateful.”
The filmmaker revealed that she did not expect her movie to be the opening film at MAMI. “When we screened the film for consideration at MAMI, we were hoping to get either accepted or rejected. We never thought it would be the opening film!” she said.
“Moothon” which translates to “the elder one” recently had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Sharing the experience, Geetu said: “This was my first time at TIFF. It is such a beautiful venue and the reception was so warm. There were a lot of Malayalis in the crowd because Nivin Pauly is a big star in South. So, his fans were there cheering for the film.”
“We had around five screenings, and the international audience enjoyed the film. They had a lot of questions, they were intrigued. We had a brainstorming session and now we are set for MAMI,” she added.
The film has been shot in real locations and among real people, informed the director — the locations being the picturesque Lakshwadeep islands and Mumbai’s red-light area Kamathipura, as per the requirement of the script.
“The film is about a young kid from the Lakshwadeep island who has grown up hearing a lot of tall tales about his elder brother, who he has never met. One day the kid decides to leave the island owing to circumstances, and sets off in search of his brother who is apparently somewhere in Mumbai. The kid reaches Mumbai and the adventure that unfolds is what forms the story,” revealed the director.
What inspired such a story? “I cater stories on search and displacement of minorities, and language politics, with a socio-political undercurrent. These are things I get drawn towards. I think that’s how the story came to my mind. Writing is a very organic process and you just go with the flow,” said Geetu.
“Moothon” is a Hindi-Malayalam bilingual drama, and the Hindi dialogues being penned by Anurag Kashyap, who is also one of the producers of the film.
Sharing her experience of working with Kashyap, the director said: “It was absolutely fabulous. I’ve known Anurag for so many years because he has worked with my husband, (director of photography) Rajeev Ravi, in many films. So, I have always known him. When I needed a dialogue writer for my film, I wanted the best in the business, and I couldn’t think of anyone but Anurag. I approached him with my script, he read it and liked it and came on board as dialogue writer. It was such an amazing experience to collaborate with him. I learnt so much from him. He is one of the filmmakers who have taken Indian independent films to the global platform. Also, I could not ask for a better producer because he has a vision for the film.”
Mohandas incidentally has already started work on her next film, which she describes as a “badass gangster flick”. She is currently busy penning the script of the movie.