Parthipan and Lakshmy Ramakrishnan: Getting theatres for releasing small-budget films are a challenge

R Parthipan’s Oththa Seruppu Size 7 and Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s House Owner have been selected for Central government’s Indian Panorama awards for 2019.

Parthipan, who wrote, directed and produced Oththa Seruppu Size 7 said that he is very happy about the award and the honour is definitely a boost to those who want to make meaningful movies. He thanked all the technicians who worked behind the solo-act movie. Mentioning that there are two types of filmmakers- those who make commercial films and those who make films with a focus on awards- he said that he belongs to the second category of filmmakers. “While I did expect an award for this film I am expecting bigger awards to come for the movie,” he said.

Recalling the difficulties he faced to release the movie in theatres, he said he could not even recover the money he spent on publicity for the movie. “Except for the OTT platform rights, I didn’t make any money. The film’s satellite rights are yet to be sold,” he said. But he added that the audience is his strength and weapon. “I believe in those audiences, who love and support good cinema, and would continue my journey, irrespective of the monetary losses,” he said.

Lakshmy Ramakrishnan was visibly moved by the honour and thanked the jury and central government for the award. House Owner, an endearing movie on unconditional love, has 2015 Chennai flood as the backdrop. Lakshmy, too, recalled the struggle she went through while planning the release of her movie in theatres. She said that since theatre owners give preference for big movies, she could release the film only in 31 theatres against the plan to release it in 131 theatres. She said that she came to the industry quite late but this recognition was unexpected. “These kinds of awards motivate directors like me, who make content-driven, low-budget films,” she said.

Parthipan considers this award as the happiest news in the year which is otherwise marred by the pandemic. The filmmaker had won National Awards twice earlier and is already busy working on his next project, Iravin Nizhal, which he plans to shoot as a single-shot movie.

Lakshmy too is working on her next project but she doesn’t want to divulge any details about the yet-to-be-titled movie.