Mani Ratnam says Navarasa was a learning experience for him

screenmixJuly 9, 2021

National Award-winning filmmaker Mani Ratnam is very upbeat about the growing popularity of the streaming platforms in the country. So much so that it seems only a matter of time before he begins to produce original content for digital platforms.

“For a filmmaker, in a way, it is a very liberating platform. You can make a 30-minute film, or 1-hour film or a 6-hour film. You can make anthologies, mini-series, or create seasons. You can tell a story in different ways,” Mani Ratnam told Cinema Vikatan while talking about the upcoming Netflix anthology film Navarasa.

Mani Ratnam has produced Navarasa along with filmmaker Jayendra Panchapakesan. The duo wanted to put together a massive team of filmmakers, who were willing to work on the project for free. And it resulted in coming together of the who’s who of the Indian film industry. Navarasa is a charity project, and the proceedings from the film will benefit about 12,000 employees of the industry, who have lost work owing to the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

Along with gaining some good karma, the project also added a new skill set to his storytelling arsenal. “It was a very good experience as I worked with nine different directors and various other actors. I had to read nine different stories, discuss them individually with each director and watch them at work. It was a learning experience for me,” added the master.

Ratnam is a huge fan of the short story format. “Short stories have a beauty of their own. In literature, short stories hold a strong place. Navarasa is made of short films, each running for about 30-40 minutes. So within that short duration, to tell a complete story, create a complete world, was an exciting (challenge) for a filmmaker,” he said.

The teaser of Navarasa was released on Friday. The star-studded anthology drama will debut on Netflix on August 6.