Dhayanidhi Alagiri’s short film delves into social media negativity

If there’s one thing several people were glued to during the lockdown, it was social media. From reading information on the on-going events to sharing their thoughts — social media has been a vital part for many. However, social media also comes with its own drawbacks. The amount of negativity that was spewing through social media is what pushed producer Dhayanidhi Alagiri to turn director. His short film, titled Mask, delves into the life of a young man, whose irrational behaviour on social media gets monitored.

Says Dhayanidhi, “I read a lot and spent time with my family during the lockdown. But whenever I skimmed through news or checked Twitter, I felt there was nothing positive. Be it the news about the pandemic or Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, there was so much negativity and hatred. This eventually led me to do a short film on social media negativity. I wrote the script and discussed it with a few directors, whom I knew. I also sat with a couple of my friends and made changes. Everyone felt it was a need-of-the-hour story. ”

Dhayanidhi says that he wanted a title that connects people to the crux of the film. “The entire film starts with a tweet. What you say on a public forum is what you are. People wear different masks on social media. I wanted a title that went well with the script and this one was perfect,” says the director.

Dhayanidhi says that an eminent director-actor will be playing the lead. “I will reveal the name soon. But apart from him, we have Mahat Raghavendra, Lallu, Basha and Alex in important roles. Ramesh Thamilmani, who composed Periyar Kuthu, is the music director, and Fenny Oliver of Natpe Thunai fame is the editor,” he says.

The film was shot in Madurai and Chennai. “When I was a producer, I hardly went to the set as we don’t have much work. But being a director felt completely different. I learnt a lot and had a lot of ADs, who’d assisted directors like AR Murugadoss, Sundar C and Atlee, working with me on the film,” says Dhayanidhi.