Tamil short films worth watching

V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR

Singaporean filmmaker Don Aravind's ability to tell compelling stories and create strong, memorable characters was the main reason for entertainment platform Viddsee Studios to choose him to make two short films.

"His stories also manage to emotionally connect with local audiences as well as evoke a sense of community, identity and togetherness," said Viddsee's PR lead John Lim.

"We specialise in short premium content which has been viewed over one billion times. We empower storytellers by enabling the creation of films and amplifying stories to targeted audiences."

Don's 18-minute Tamil film Colours is about an elderly man who makes birthday plans for his wife while preparing a special gift for her. However, he struggles to bring his family together for this happy occasion.

"My loving and losing was the inspiration behind Colours," said Don, who co-wrote the script. "I wanted to illustrate the concept of soulmates.

"I wanted to tell this through a film where the theme of unconditional love is portrayed painfully yet beautifully.

"There is a pain in loving someone. One of the worst conditions (dementia) anyone can face is to forget or be forgotten by the person they love."

Veteran local actor A. Panneeirchelvam plays the old man who has dementia. The supporting roles are played by Gunalan Morgan and Vikneswary Se who are prominent television actors.

"What worked is that we are close friends, said Don, who has directed and written nearly 30 short films, many of which have received major accolades at prestigious international film festivals. "We all understood each other so well. These are actors who can just tap on the energies and emotions I want to express as sometimes I can go silent on the set."

Colours also has a touching song which conveys the feeling that it is okay to lose someone you really love as long as you feel in your soul that the love is still there. Don wrote the music for the song, whose lyrics were written by Jaya Rathakrishnan. It was sung by the Indian singer Bombay Jayashri.

"Colours paints a realistic tale of painful hardships and worrying dangers our ageing population faces today," said Don. "I wanted to focus more on the human side of the issues. Humanity is often placed on the back seat when humans struggle to live."

Sunset, a 19-minute Tamil film, is about foster parents whose world revolves around the little child they were planning to adopt.

However, when the child's real mother returns, they are forced to confront their worst fear that they will be unable to keep her.

"The storyline was organic,"said Don. "It was a mixture of back stories as well. It has the undertones of a man who is struggling to bear the loss of his foster child and his involuntary childlessness. The personal aspect of this film is hidden in layers."

Shooting both films during Phase 2 of the circuit breaker was tough. "But the drive to tell these stories at that point was a huge motivating factor," said Don.

He is not sure if he has improved as a filmmaker with the two films, which are available on YouTube.

"I want to tell more stories," he said. "I sympathise greatly with emotions that are not openly expressed.

"Some of the feedback I get from strangers is that they were so moved and could relate (to my films), which makes me feel I have communicated in some way with them."

santosh@sph.com.sg

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