Mumbai, July 29: Nithin Lukose’s debut feature as a writer-director in the Malayalam language, Paka (River of Blood), is all set to have its World Premiere at the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), held from September 9-18, 2021.
Malayalam film Paka at Toronto International Film Festival
Lukose’s debut Malayalam film, Paka, is selected in the Discovery section, which showcases the first or second feature films of directors worldwide. The TIFF will be held in a hybrid way, with both in-person and digital screenings.
Produced by Anurag Kashyap and Raj Rachakonda, Paka is a tale of a river that swells with the blood of two feuding families and a young couple that tries to overcome this hatred with their love.
The film set in Wayanad of North Kerala, features an ensemble cast including, Basil Paulose (Johnny), Vinitha Koshy (Anna), Jose Kizhakkan (Kochappan), Athul John (Paachi), Nithin George (Joey), Joseph Manickal (Varkey) and is shot by Srikanth Kabothu, edited by Arunima Shankar, and music by Faizal Ahamed.
Paka tells a universal story, says director
Paka won the best WIP project in the Work-in-Progress Lab of NFDC Film Bazaar 2020 and is produced by Studio 99 Films in association with Alif Talkies Productions.
Excited about the TIFF Premiere, debut filmmaker Nithin Lukose, an FTII graduate and the sound designer of Thithi and Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar says, “I’m delighted and honoured to see my directorial debut, PAKA (River of Blood), at the Discovery Programme of the 46th Toronto International Film Festival. I was fascinated by the stories and myths my grandmother told me when I was young. PAKA is a manifestation of that fascination. The idea was to tell a universal story that can appeal to the global audience while keeping the film rooted in the cultural attributes of the remote village I grew up in and the people I love. It’s a matter of pride that a regional film like our’s is getting a platform through a globally renowned festival like TIFF.”
Raj Rachakonda who has written-directed-produced a critically acclaimed and commercially successful Telugu feature film Mallesham (Netflix), decided to produce PAKA. Talking about what prompted him to produce the film, he says, “I decided to produce the script from one of the crew members who helped me make my directorial debut, Mallesham. Of the four scripts narrated to me, I opted to produce Nithin’s, who helped me with sound design for Mallesham because PAKA is a poignant story about people’s simultaneous capacity for love and cruelty that displays great depth and emotion.”
Also Read: Director Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Once Upon A Time in Calcutta to premiere at Venice Film Festival
Anurag Kashyap on Malayalam films
Anurag Kashyap who boarded the project as a producer during its post-production stage says, “Malayalam Cinema is at the moment leading India on the world stage and I am so grateful to be associated with it in a small way. Paka is yet another powerful debut from a rooted new voice.”
Director Lukose said that he treated Paka as an independent film in which 90% of the actors are non-actors from the village. “We had a film school crew mostly from my alma mater Film and TV Institute of India. I aspire to tell stories that not only represent and reflect the culture and space I belong to and are also universal,” he said.