Malayalam movie makes it to Toronto International Film Festival

'Paka' deals with tales of revenge that spanned across generations in a remote village in Kerala.


Sreenivasa Reddy

Published: Mon 16 Aug 2021, 5:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 16 Aug 2021, 5:39 PM

Paka, a film produced by Anurag Kashyap and Raj Rachakonda and directed by Nithin Lukose, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2021 scheduled to be held from September 9 to 18.

The movie deals with tales of revenge that spanned across generations in a remote village of Wayanad district of Kerala, which happens to be the native place of director Nithin Lukose. The director draws on his memories of the village and on what was passed down to him from his grandmother to weave a gripping tale of love caught in the vagaries of village politics.

Speaking to City Times, Raj Rachakonda, co-producer of the film, said the river that passes by the village is a constant presence in the movie as a mute witness to the gory happenings in the community. The bodies of those killed in the revenge politics are invariably buried in the river which has become a repository of sorts for the memories of the village. A love story between members of the rival families plays out in the background of age-old animosities that run through generations.

Rachakonda, who is a producer of the acclaimed Telugu movie Mallesham that dealt with the woes of weavers, took an interest in the idea of Nithin, who was then his sound designer. The movie was shot in the village where it was supposed to have happened. Most of the cast, who also hail from the village and never acted in a film, were given acting classes for two months before the movie shooting had begun, said Rachakonda. All of them picked up the acting skills fairly quickly and performed admirably, he added.

Anurag Kashyap, a prominent Bollywood figure, came forward to lend his name as co-producer after he was impressed by the unique subject matter of the film.

When asked about when it would be commercially released, Rachakonda said no definite date has been set due to pandemic conditions but added it would be very soon.

Vinitha Koshy and Basil Paulose are the lead actors and Nithin George is the villain. The three actors are the only members of the cast who do not belong to the village.

The 100-minute film was selected in the Discovery section of the Toronto festival meant for movies from new directors. The producer said it is the lone Malayalam movie shortlisted for the festival and is hopeful of it winning critical acclaim.

“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,” said director Nithin.

The trailer evokes a typical Kerala rural ambience and enchanting natural setting which act as backdrop for the deep-seated emotions that play out in the movie.


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