Director Lijo Jose Pellissery on Friday posted a very forceful statement on his Facebook page. The director said that he no longer aspires to be part of mainstream Malayalam film industry as he is not ready to stop making movies during these trying times.
“For me, cinema is not a money-making machinery but a medium to express my vision. So from today onwards, I am an independent filmmaker. I will use all the money I raise from cinema to fuel better cinema and nothing else. I will screen my cinema anywhere I feel is right because I am the creator of it (sic),” wrote Pellissery.
He added, “We are in the middle of a pandemic-a war-jobless people-identity crisis-poverty and religious unrest. People are walking 1000 miles just to reach home. Artists are dying out of depression. So, these are times to create great art just to inspire people to feel alive. Just to give them hope in some form to stay alive. Don’t ask us to stop working. Don’t ask us to stop creating. Don’t question our integrity. Don’t question our self-respect. You will terribly loose because we are artists.”
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s revolt comes a day after Kerala Film Chamber and Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) extended its support to Malayalam producers’ warning against starting the production of new movies.
The Kerala government has allowed the production of movies and TV shows provided the makers follow specific safety guidelines. However, the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) asked all filmmakers not to start the production of new films until films completed before lockdown hits theaters.
The restriction did not sit well with Lijo Jose Pellissery as he announced that he would start filming his next project titled A from July 1. Following, which other film bodies including film chambers and exhibitors’ association sided with the producers’ council to build pressure on Pellissery to back off.
It seems the film industry’s strong-arm tactics have finally convinced Pellissery to operate outside the confines of mainstream cinema.
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