Prasanna Vithanage’s Busan winner film ‘Paradise’ which had its South Asia Premiere in the ICONS: SOUTH ASIA at the 23rd Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival received a heartwarming response from a packed house. The festival is held from October 27 – November 5, 2023.
The screening followed by an engaging Q&A with cast and crew was attended by acclaimed writer-director Anjali Menon (Bangalore Days, Koode and Wonder Women) and Nasreen Munni Kabir who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the ongoing Jio MAMI. The lead actor Darshana Rajendran (C U Soon, Hridayam and Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey) was also present at the screening.
The film was produced by Newton Cinema and presented by Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies, marking their first collaboration, recently won the Kim Jiseok Award for the Best Film at the Busan International Film Festival 2023 where it recently had its World Premiere.
The film stars Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran, Shyam Fernando, and Mahendra Perera and boasts of an illustrious crew such as Rajeev Ravi as the cinematographer, Sreekar Prasad as the editor, Tapas Nayak as the sound designer, and K as the music director.
Shot in Sri Lanka, ‘Paradise’ narrates the vacation of a tourist couple, exploring their struggles with societal, personal, and internal challenges. Through their experiences, they unveil an objective truth about human nature.
Delighted with the audience’s response, the acclaimed filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage says, “It was my dream to make an Indian film. With Paradise, I achieved it in some ways, but making the film is not enough. It needs to be shared with the audience, especially in Mumbai, which is the capital of the film industry. The screening was packed so I am overwhelmed with happiness. Festivals are platforms that are used to having conversations around the films. I am so happy that this cultural space is still here, and I am happy to be a part of it.”
Anto Chittilappilly, CEO of Newton Cinema says, “We just had our World Premiere at Busan where we won the Kim Jiseok Award and it’s amazing to have our South Asia premiere at Jio MAMI. The audience has been so responsive to the film in BIFF( Busan) and in MAMI with their laughter and shock at the plot twists, have been consistent and wonderful.”
Darshana Rajendran, the lead actor of the film says, “It has been a different experience from Busan, that was the first place I went and watched the film and then I came here at MAMI, it somehow feels different, it has been so nice for everyone to stay back and attend such a long discussion. I feel like each time we talk about the film, I learn something new about it, even my understanding of the film becomes deeper.”
Writer-director Anjali Menon says, “I thought it was an incredible take on the dynamics between the male and female relationship. Besides, they have put this whole subtext of the Ramayana and it opens up many things for interpretation, not just what is going on in the contemporary narrative, but also what happened in the Ramayana. It makes you question a lot of things. I think the way the characters have evolved, makes us question very basic things about who we are, and how connected are we to nature, how connected we are to the external environment around us. There are so many layers in this film which are political, and emotional and really emphasize that the narrative is never singular. I think that is the biggest takeaway for me from the film.”