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From ‘Mosquito Philosophy’ to ‘Nila’, 14 Tamil Indie Films that should be on your watchlist.

Independent films or so-called Indie films are way too rare especially in the Tamil Film Industry. Even when we take the whole Kollywood Industry into account, there would be quite a less number of Indie films compared to the feature films we get for a year. The on-point definition of an Indie film is any feature-length or short film that is made without the intervention of a major studio or a big production company. It is often low-budgeted or micro-budgeted which is decided by the director of the film. Sometimes indie films are also produced and directed by the same person but it depends on each and every treatment of the film and there are few chances of Indie filmmakers doing crowdfunding as well.


1. Mosquito Philosophy (2019)


Mosquito Philosophy


The Mosquito Philosophy is one of the rare indie films with the concept of no script, no retakes, and showing life (reality) as it is. The film plays off like a family drama and heavily relies on the conversations between friends. Starting from talking about the liquor rate while buying, to the end, where he sits at a bench in low light, putting an end to his arranged marriage. The plot of the film is that it follows a 40-year-old middle-aged man Suresh who is revealing to his friends at a party at his friend’s home that he is going to be married to a younger woman soon and then it follows what happens. The conversations between the friends and the friend's wife feel so real that it almost looks like a real-life conversation that is being filmed on camera.


The film also talks about various themes embedded which are mostly surfaced through like corruption, gender differences, ageist stereotypes, gender equality, and many more but these are not presented in a serious tone affecting the film rather act as the mere projection of the philosophy - Truth is like a fire...to tell the truth, means to glow and burn.


The setting of the get-together party is so realistic and it not only involves conversations that are plot-related but even some silly things such as what music they like, what to order on, and what is their relationship with their wives. The ending is surreal with showing the wall painting with vines like structures which goes with the philosophy that it presents.


The film was presented by an Actress/musician Shruti Haasan and was an official selection for many film festivals such as Chennai International Film Festival 2021, 17th Dhaka International Film Festival, Nitte International Film Festival & Habitat Film Festival of 2019. It has also won many awards like the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2019 Cult Critics Movie Awards in India, Honorable Mention at the Experimental Forum Film Festival (2019) in Los Angeles & Best Story Award at the Lake City International Film Festival (2019).


You can watch Mosquito Philosophy which is streaming on MUBI or Cinemapreneur (pay-per-view).


2. Nasir (2020)


Nasir


Nasir directed by Arun Karthick is more of a surreal take on how religion incorporates into several different facades of life and how it reflects itself into complete hatred of another religion. It takes us to the theme of religious violence on Muslims through the journey of Nasir, a Muslim man who is living a low-key life with his family and as a salesman in a sari and garment store that is inside a crowded market locality of the city scintillating with communal schisms waiting to explode due to Hindu rightists.


Nasir is shown to be a very calm man but deeply religious living in a Muslim-dominated shanty in Chennai. He has his own quirks like listening to Old songs and is heavily committed to his work. He also shares his love for his wife, takes care of his mentally challenged nephew and his aging mother. But, he completely ignores all the chaos that is happening around him until when it actually turns on him.


The film incorporates messages into it seamlessly like the poem that Nasir narrates to his colleagues at his shop about loneliness and silence and we see 2-3 minutes of silence after the religious mob takes on him as well as the moment of his silence when his own colleagues at his shop encourage religious violence to the society. There are many such messages like these and it differentiates on how people perceive religion in them which are shown while he passes through the market to reach the shop.


Nasir is a hard-hitting film on a realistic take on communal violence and it doesn’t give straight-out answers but asks how the media and the people are so silent about the communal conflicts that are happening around India and why there aren’t any measures on avoiding it?


With its realistic filmmaking, the director also uses aesthetics and visuals which adds more depth to the plot, and the film is presented in 4:3 format like how Manirathnam presented the magnum opus film “Iruvar” but with little curves on its sides. Even the sound is used in an interesting way to glue the audience onto the screen, and not to turn their faces to a happy end but for them to get that feeling of how horrifying religious violence is in India is.


The film was supported by the Netherlands Film Fund and produced with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. It is an adaptation of the short story “A Clerk’s Story” by Dilip Kumar who is a Tamil writer with many awards and currently lives in Chennai where he runs a bookshop.


It recently premiered in the MAMI film festival Mumbai, We are One global digital film festival on Youtube and at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2020, as an entry for the Tiger Competition and won the prestigious NETPAC Award for the best Asian feature film as well as won the “Best Narrative feature” Indiememe 2021 at Texas.


You can watch NASIR on MovieSaints


3. Kuthiraivaal (2020)


Kuthiraivaal


Kuthiravaal co-directed by Manjoy Leonel Jahson and Shyam Sunder is a film that is based on the concept of Magical realism. It was coined by an Art Critic Franz Rob in Germany in 1925 to describe modern realistic paintings or literature with fantasy or dreamlike subjects. The term Magic realism is often related to fantasy but there is a difference between them as magic realism expresses a realistic view of the real world embedding magical elements on it which are normalized and does not act as a shock factor for the characters as they accept it as ordinary.


Kuthiraivaal follows a 38-year-old bank employee Freud Saravanan who is at Chennai, finds himself saddled with a horse’s tail on his back and sees magical elements like the tail on his back, a horse without a tail, and a sky with both sun, as well as the moon, appearing simultaneously at the same time. It is also deemed to be one of the rare films that use this genre besides Aalavandhan & Irandam Ulagam.


The film mixes dreams within reality, mathematical equations in philosophy, mythmaking with psychiatry. Overall, Kuthiraivaal takes the audience on a ride with multiple realities of its narratives as he tries to find the mystery behind why he has horse’s tail through his dreams, illusions, and memories encountering several peculiar characters like a transient woman, Van Gogh, and then there is a brutal murder, with the identity of the victim and perpetrator a riddle. The debut film by the co-directors Manoj Leonel Jason and Shyam Sunder is an orchestrated celebration of the absurdity, the sheer irrationality of humans and at some points, it questions the power dynamics of life and manifesting them in new illustrations of self-expression that are artistic as well as controversial.


The film is loosely inspired by the novel The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and was produced by Director Pa. Ranjith under their own production banner Neelam Productions and Vignesh Sundaresan became the co-producer of it. It was screened at many international film festivals such as the International Film Festival of Kerala on 12 February 2021 & Berlin’s critics week on 27 February 2021.


4. LENS (2017)


LENS


LENS is the first film by the Indie director of Mosquito Philosophy and it follows Aravind, a married man who is a pornographic addict who often does sexual webcam chats with girls and uploads sexual videos on sites. He experiences this as voyeurism and later gets blackmailed by an online stranger who forces him to watch him suicide. Then, it takes us through the video calls that happen between the stranger and him onto discovering who he is and why he is blackmailing him. 


The film is a heavy message-driven with the theme of how privacy is important in life. It explores all of it through its dialogues which happen between the stranger and Aravind stretching the message and for some audiences it might be preachy too but it is such an important topic that most of the films ignore to cover on. In addition to that, it also catches on digital scams, cybercrime, hacking, misuse of information, Dark Net, etc which creates social and digital awareness for the audience.


The film effectively pulls us through the experiences of guilt & shame that the online stranger had faced through his backstory which immediately makes us sympathize with him and a few reveals at the end, really make the protagonist as complete disgust of a man. It also uses a lot of Idioms and Phrases which are as deep and thoughtfully written as the film when you rewatch or get to the climax of the story.


The film was produced by Glowing Tungsten (Malayalam) in association with Mini Studio (Tamil) and was distributed via Vetrimaran's Grassroot Film Company in Tamil. The film was screened in several film festivals and won many accolades. Lens is probably one of the first South Indian films that boldly exposed the vulnerabilities of hormonal urge in the digital era.


You can watch LENS on Netflix


5. Maadathy (2019)


MAADATHY


Maadathy directed by Leela Manimekalai goes with the tagline - Nobodies do not have Gods; they are Gods, is a coming of age story of a fictional adolescent girl born in an ‘unseeable' caste group in the remote southern village of Tamilnadu. Maadathy indeed is not a fairy tale as it speaks about the Puthirai Vannars and the discriminations they face as they are who are forced to wash clothes of the Dalits, the deceased and the menstruating women must hide from the rest of society because their sight alone is perceived as contamination. The film is written and produced by Leena Manimekalai under the banner, Karuvachy Film and is a reflection on, gender, caste and identity, religious beliefs, and violence.


The director Leena Manimekalai itself is known for her poetic films which are deeply concerned about social justice. Her films are critically acclaimed and have received numerous accolades at various film festivals and have a unique and original voice as an independent filmmaker. The film also received a lot of appreciation from critics at various film festivals such as Busan International Film Festival and received many awards as well.


The film was partly crowdfunded and the official motion poster of the film was released by an acclaimed Malayalam Actress Parvathy Thiruvothu on her social media.


You can watch Maadathy on NeeStream on 24th June


6. Nilanadukam (2021)


Nilanadukkam


Nilanadukam directed by Balaji Vembu Chelli is an intriguing tale of a young journalist, unnamed, who takes a detour to a nondescript mountain village, Kukkal, 40 km away from Kodaikanal which has been abandoned due to an earthquake. The story is about the way that the live news is being fed to viewers and examines the catastrophe as well the mystery surrounding it. The director has blended elements of folktales into this film to present it as a road movie with its mystery.


The film is experimental as it was shot in 25 days with a small crew of 15 people and it is only 70 minutes long, shot entirely using a live recording. The film premiered at various film festivals and was also the only Tamil film that was screened at the oldest and prestigious film festivals in Canada, the 49th Montreal Festival Du Nouveau Cinema.


7. Koozhangal (Pebbles) (2021)


Koozhangal (Pebbles)


Koozhangal aka Pebbles directed by PS Vinothraj stretches on the lives of an alcoholic father and a son. Set in Arittapatti, near Madurai, the film parallels the aridity of the place’s landscape with the violence simmering deep within its destitute residents and their fractious relationships. However, at the same time, the film also underscores the humanity that can help tide over the endemic sense of despair.


The film’s story is based on a real incident of director Vinothraj's family which has inspired him to make this film in 30 days. It takes us through the journey of an alcoholic father with his son who is trying to bring his wife, who has left her mother’s village due to a fight between them. The film plays off like a road movie as the onward journey that they go is through a bus and they come back on foot.


It was produced by Vignesh Shivan and Nayanthara‘s Rowdy Pictures banner in association with Learn and Teach productions and Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the music for the film. It was also screened at various film festivals as well as won many awards.


8. Sethum Aayiram Pon (2020)


Sethum Aayiram Pon


Sethum Aayiram Pon directed by Anand Ravichandran explores the relationship between Krishnaveni, an oppari singer, and her granddaughter Meera, who is a make-up artist. Meera, who works in the city for serials has been away from her village for so long and is now returning to see her grandmother again. The film deals with the conflict and its resolution between the two in the village and how Meera ultimately finds her roots within rural life and its traditions.


Sethum Aayiram Pon starts in a comical way and there are few comical scenes as well but the beauty of the film is that it all occurs naturally and is shot in a way that is realistic. It also explores various themes such as Racism, Electricity issues, Culture and language differences, gambling, alcoholism, and old customs, etc but in a more subtle way. The highlights can be of its beautiful sound design and single shots like the Introductory scene of Krishnaveni singing oppari at a funeral in the village to the scene where Meera gets to do make-up for a dead body to cover his love bite wound at a gathering.


With its visuals on point, the supporting characters and the lead, perform very livelily without any buildups for them and they act as though they have been living in the village for real, for so long, which ultimately compliments the live sounds present in the film.


The film also continuously parallels the adapting culture of Meera to the village, from the way she immediately jewels with the people. There are counterparts such as when Meera first travels in the bus, she is hesitant to sit near an Old village man in the bus, and in the way of the film when she realizes her grandmother's truth she sits near her and giggles out and the shots appear the same as the introduction of Meera.


The bond between both of them grows very gradually and they understand each other through their actions they do and even in some places, Krishnaveni tries to test her daughter's loyalty and affection towards her through various ways, yet, she stays true.


There are several scenes in the film which really are emotional at its peak like when Meera tries to leave the village at night knowing her grandmother’s truth and then immediately breaking into tears on her shoulder when she finds out the reason behind it or the last scene of her singing the same oppari to her dead grandmother in the same pose, same style, same slang, crying out loud.


Even the make-up kit also breaks the barriers of classes, when we actually see the worth of it. It is as said by Kubera in the film “Whoever applies the make-up with whatever kit, it should be done with the heart and respect of the person”. This was clearly stressed when she comes back to Chennai for her job but is being shouted at by the director rather she actually doing it with her heart and respect to the person.


The film also talks about life and its inevitable end - death which is the destiny for every life on the planet like Krishnaveni says in a simpler way “Death is inevitable to everyone. If death ceases to exist, then humans will become idle and lazy, like a sloth, like birth, death should also be celebrated”.


The film was screened at several film festivals and was an official selection of the New York Indian Film Festival 2019 and the 10th Jagran Film Festival. The film was also shot in 17 days in Appanur near Paramakudi.


You can watch Sethum Aayiram Pon on Amazon Prime Video


9. Baaram (2020)


Baaram


Baaram directed by Priya Krishnaswamy is a docu-fiction drama about Thalaikoothal, an ongoing socially-sanctioned practice of euthanasia that is prevalent in the interior parts of Tamil Nadu. The practice is for Older adults, who are ill in the state are being killed in the name of mercy killing by their own children through various traditional methods which is actually an act of murder/honor killing.


The horrifying practice is shown to us from the protagonist Karuppasamy, who works as a night-watchman and lives with his sister and three nephews - Veera, Mani, and Murugan in a small town in Tamil Nadu. During a return to his home after his shift, he gets into an accident and breaks his hip. While his nephews try to treat him in the city itself, his son Senthil, who stays off from him with his wife and daughter, brings him to his ancestral village, to be healed by a traditional healer but later that we get to know that he has murdered him through the practice of Thalaikoothal, which is found out by his nephew Veera, yet, he couldn't prove it until the last.


Priya Krishnaswamy makes the experience of the suffering of Karuppasamy more cathartic with him lying helpless, motionless, being shifted from one place to another, neglected to be given food, or even been cared for as he is shouting for help at his Sentil, where he has been kept bedridden.


The film captures the real, unedited version of how dangerous and terrifying the practice of Thalaikoothal is and why it is still happening in the rural villages of Tamil Nadu. The film does not even, for a minute stay away from being realistic from its dialogues to the way they act in this film. Everything feels authentic and real and because of that, we are taken into the film way too quickly.


The film also becomes a straight-out awareness of the traditional practice and how it should be immediately stopped or condemned in the villages which are still practicing it. Even the 2019 Tamil film K.D (Karuppu Durai) had the same premise for its film, yet it, was shown in a more lighthearted way, but, Baaram shows the realistic take on the practice, mixing facts with fiction perfectly.


Baaram premiered at several film festivals and won the “National Film For Best Film Feature in Tamil” at the 66th National Film Awards. The film was produced by the Director VetriMaaran’s Production Grass Root Company. It was also shot in 18 days in Pondicherry in a realistic style with the usage of Dogme movements, long takes, handheld shots, and sync sound.


You can watch Baaram on Amazon Prime Video


10. K.D (Karuppu Durai) (2019)


Karuppu Durai (K.D)


K.D aka Karuppu Durai directed by Madhumitha Sudararaman follows the relationship between a young orphan boy, Kutti, and an 80-year-old man, Karuppu Durai who is seen to have escaped from his family and his village by overhearing their conversation about killing him through the way of Thalaikoothal, a traditional way to murder the elders who are ill through the use of excessive oil and coconut milk, in order to claim their inheritance.


K.D starts in a refreshing way by Karuppu Durai narrating off-screen in a single shot showing the village, its greenery, its vast people, and then going to the grim or darker side of the family at night. The film takes off in a funnier way of K.D escaping out of the village through bus and meeting an orphan boy coincidentally at a temple which connects both of them, who pair off in a road trip to complete Karuppu Durai's bucket list which includes eating biryani, watching an MGR or Rajini film and act like him, drink rich alcohol, wear a coat suit, drive a vehicle with a friend, travel in AC Train, do a favorite job and earn as well as learn to read and write.


The bond between K.D and Kutti grows in a very natural, realistic way and there are even laugh-out-loud funny moments that work effectively in this film. Throughout the film, it also explores various different themes such as honor killing, ageism, age differences, existential life, death, and many others.


Karuppu Durai while traveling with Kutti gets to know the meaning of life, self-worth, friendship, love while on the other side, the villagers hire Easan, a man who is an expert in finding out people. He is paid by the villagers to find where K.D is for doing their tradition on time and Easen starts out his investigation.


The fights and the cute moments between Karuppa Durai and Kutti are what the film highlights on and the fact of age is just a number which is said by K.D while drinking to Kutty “You sound so grown and act like one. Sometimes I wonder who the child is here”. Even the meet-cute moment of the Old age couple who were separated in their childhood is beautifully shot, in a manner, how the younger adult love sequences are shot and when Valli says to K.D “Love is not about keeping them close, sometimes it's about letting them go” which explains it all.


There is also a moment of reminiscence in a song where the children are dancing in the rain while Karuppu Durai and Valli watch them with a smile, reminding them how they would have danced when they were young.


K.D aka Karuppu Durai is a Heart-warming and sweet tale of the beautiful bond that blooms between both of them and for Karuppu Durai to reiterate to live as he wanted to and act against the system of traditions which at the last what K.D does, leaving his family and all he had in there and to live with what he wants to do.


The film was nominated and screened at various film festivals and has also won many awards as well.


You can watch K.D (Karuppu Durai) on Netflix


11. Sethuthumaaan (2021)


Seththumaan


Sethuthumaan directed by Thamizh is set on the margins of a teeming village in rural Tamil Nadu and follows a gentle Basket weaver Poochiyappan, who does a lot of odd jobs and has big dreams of social mobility of his grandson, Kumaresan, whose parents died years ago in a caste riot that shook their village. He dreams is to make his grandson be like Ram Nath Kovind or similar powerful officers.


The film looks upon the repressions, several ambitions of the rural people, and their struggles to rise above the position that they are chained by the society based on their caste. Their personal relationships get into the conflict of caste and food politics of the region especially of pig meat which Poochi tries on roasting and eating a piece of the meat, but unfortunately, pig meat is considered not worthy for the upper castes to which he belongs. His wife is furious at him constantly that she will kick him out if he doesn’t end this nonsense. But, Poochi stops at nothing and hires to find the right animal for the purpose.


The director said that the inspiration for this film was Perumal Murugan’s short story “Varugai” which also talked about food and its politics and the film was produced by Director P.A. Ranjith’s Neelam Productions. It was also premiered at various film festivals as well as won many awards.


12. Radiopetti (2015)


Radiopetti


Radiopetti directed by Hari Viswanath follows an Old age man, Arunachalam, and his Old Radiopetti with which he listens to Classical vintage songs every day. The film starts at a very high point with his son breaking the radio and leaving the house and then shifting to 4 years later where we see the Old age man living out his life to the fullest.


Arunachalam quickly develops a bond with his neighbor’s son and some moments with him, he reminisces the memories of the time that he spend with his son, yet, that is not literally shown on screen. Like these few little things, the film is way visual with its representation and doesn't express all of it through its dialogues. There are also beautiful framings that let the viewers intercept such as when both of them, he and his friend after a tea break leave, we see them traveling in two separate ways, more of like a passage that divides between one who is pretending to be happy and the other who is struggling to cope up without the radio.


The radio even has its own backstory and for Arunachalam, listening to the radio is like hearing his dead father’s voice back. He is so fond of that radio that when he sees a similar replica of it at a barbershop, he gets deeply emotional and psychologically disturbed that he tries to suicide and get his broken radio repaired yet fails at it, leaving him at a hospital.


It also stresses the word “Old” and how many people use it as something which is useless and degrading from the way the barbershop says when he sees Arunachalam looking at the radio “This is my father’s radio. Since it is his shop I haven't changed anything and kept it as it is. Although, being an Old Shop no one is coming here” to the way Subramani (Arunachalam friend) says to him “I am going to take you to an Old place. Yes, it is Old place but everybody sees it as a new one” and then we see both of them at a beach.


The film also goes through the part of ageism with Arunachalam being partially deaf and not as energetic as he was when he was a little younger, yet, it shows it in a nuanced way rather than being preachy. There are also a few humorous scenes with him being able to hear the sound of radio on his ears due to a musical ear syndrome, Tinnitus which works very well in this film.


Hari Viswanath, the director of Radiopetti said that this film is an ode to his grandfather who would turn on his Murphy wall radio every time in the morning and keep singing with it. He said that he wanted to celebrate his grandfather being alive and this film is partly his own story with a few being fictionalized. He also added that another reason to make this film was to record the everyday lives and memorable moments of people as this generation is the last which has seen and savored it.


The film was one of the first Tamil films to win the KNN Audience Award at the New Currents competition section at Busan International Film Festival and was screened as well as won at many other film festivals as well. The film was produced by Harry Toonz Studios and was completed within 15 days on a budget of 1 crore.


You can watch Radiopetti on Netflix or on YouTube


13. Revelations (2017)


Radiopetti


Revelations directed by Vijay Jayapal is about Shobha, a young Tamil woman, who lives in Kolkata with her husband Shekar, a correspondent reporter for an English Daily Newspaper, who ends up in a relationship with a fellow intern Divya, a Bengali woman while covering for a story, unknown to her. Shobha, on the other hand, is grappling with her unknown tensions in her four-year-long marriage, develops a complex relationship with her new neighbor Manohar, a middle-aged reclusive Tamil man, who had killed his wife and is now living in the apartment with a paralyzed mother. Soon, in a quadrangular tangle of life, all the inner secrets of all are unrevealed, which makes each one take decisions on changing their whole life.


Revelations start in a quite interesting and high suspenseful level, showing the middle age man enter the apartment after 7 years of jail and then a mirror image of him just committing the murder and sitting nearby him on the sofa. The film on the whole is shot realistic and explores several themes such as guilt, redemption, and female sexuality in the context of an Indian marriage.


It has a lot of powerful scenes and one of which was speechless was the moment when the camera shows Shoba seeing Manohar feeding his paralyzed mother and we see her just looking at him with concern, awe, and fascination at how caring he is before knowing his dark truth.


The film premiered at Busan International Film Festival and was also screened at various other film festivals that included Goteborg, MAMI Mumbai, IFFK, SAIFF(New York), Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai.


You can watch Revelations on Netflix or on YouTube


14.  Nila (2015)


Nila


Nila directed by Selvamani Selvaraj is a beautiful, simple love story between a Cab Driver and a sex worker woman that had their spark in their childhood but never was together. They finally meet up in the city of Mumbai during a cab ride and that blossoms the relationship between them.


The film is fully shot at night and it has its own unique color palette from the bright colors like red, blue, and yellow being in extreme contrast to the blurring of the street lights which appears on the frame as though they are stars that cover both sun (Vimal) and moon (her) together.


Yes, I know that the sun and moon never appear at the same time, but there is a reason behind its reference as to when Vimal gets to know that she is a sex worker he gets frustrated, angry and avoids her calls, even at a scene he literally beats a guy. This shows him being in rage as the planet's sun is extremely hot. For Vimal, she is like a moon whom she meets only at night and he tells her that she is as beautiful as it is. Even at a scene, he says “I was living in the darkness and I wished that you would be the light of my life. But, I didn't expect you also to be lost in the darkness itself and how you are for me, I should also be the light for you" for that she immediately replies "See, this is me and this is my situation. I can come with you in this car as much long as you want, but, I cannot get down and walk with you" which counterparts with how when we walk at night and see the moon traveling with us as to how long as we want, but, it cannot come and walk with us on the road.


The conversation between the two, while traveling in the Cab is so sweet, enduring and does bring a smile to your face and the message of the film is deep yet surreal in an account. There are also cute moments of reminiscence on the couple's face, especially the scene of the Ice cream with a ringing bell or the rain effect. It also uses a lot of Old Tamil songs which are mostly played in the background relating to the situation. Even the film ends very quickly without a happy or a sad one, leaving it to the audience to figure it out.


Nila was partly crowdfunded by people and it had won “The Best First Feature” at CINEQUEST Film Festival and was screened at many International Film Festivals as well.


You can watch Nila on Netflix


Now, Coming back to the Indie culture for the films in Tamil, there are organizations like NFDC who support taking the films, as in, from the point of advertising, but, they don't have a production wing to fund the films, thereby, indie filmmakers have to find producers for their films.


Leena Manimekalai, the director of Maadathy said in a Film Companion Interview that “Independent filmmaking exist in the world to question the hegemony in everything, in market, narratives, in how stories are told in the mainstream and how the whole process like the making of the film and how democratic it is”


Even with the Film Festival circuits being available for the indie films to be screened at, but, the audience for the theatre release is different from people who actually visit film festivals to watch films, yet, some filmmakers are fine with the conservative audience for their films like Balaji Vembu Chelli, the director of Nilanadukam said that he never thought of releasing his film in the theatre because of the film being smaller budget with 70-minute runtime wouldn’t be released on theatres and decide to release on OTT platforms if the visibility gets better at festivals”.


Also, There was a model way back in Tamil Industry like Naalaya Iyakunar, where the low-budget films were released and that platform helped many of those indie filmmakers like Karthick Subbaraj, Nalan Kumarasamy, and many others who are now into big-budget films.


The indie films are not star-studded and mostly done with newcomers with a smaller budget compared to the big production films and due to this as well, they are not getting much funding and not able to reach the audiences in order to get back their profit to make another film.


Arun Karthick, the director of Nasir when he screened the film at IFFK (International Film Festival Rotterdam) said “I think what fascinates me about IFFK is, it is not just a platform to show diverse films and diverse filmmakers but also helps them make their next film which is very unique and special because suddenly you feel very valuable by a film festival. Not just because of your film but also because of your filmmaking that is about to come. So in that way, it is a huge encouragement and a kind of trust that they place in the filmmaker and that is more important than money”.


Still, most independent filmmakers are fighting against the so-called ecosystem of the market and doing their films, which have brought us up to 14 Tamil Indie films and more and more that are going to come in the future. For now, Independent filmmakers are evolving and with the number of indie films that have released in 2020-21 and the way of many Well Known or Popular Tamil directors like Vetrimaaran, P.A. Ranjith & many others backing up these films, it is creating an evolution.


Tags: #TamilIndiefilms #Indie #FilmFestival #Indieculture #Indiefilmmakers #Indiefilms #Tamil


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