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Australian-Indian film project raises over USD 7,000 through crowdfunding

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 25, 2019  | 13:13 IST

By Natasha Chaku Melbourne, Mar 25 (PTI)) An Australian-Indian film project titled "A Bride of Aravan" has managed to raise over USD 7,000 on a crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an Australian government supported MATCH Lab initiative. The film is set to be shot in Puducherry next month during the annual Aravan festival by director duo Lesley Branagan and Yatra Srinivassan after the funding is over. Australian screenwriter John O'Brien has co-written the short romantic drama which will be screened on Australian media outlets, ABC and SBS. ''You work on short films partly for a little bit of money, but mostly for a passion for the actual project," O'Brien told ABC. ''But the other thing of course, is that it's so wonderful to have a project which you've worked on actually happen. So few projects in the film world, in the television world, ever actually see the light of day,'' he added. Starring Tamil actor Vinu Karthick, the film promises to offer inspiration for Tamil youths to find ways in which their modern aspirations can be realised, without overtly upsetting traditional expectations. "We've been consulting with local transgender people, and a couple of them have agreed to play the roles," Branagan said. "We do have a lot more collaboration (with them) in the coming weeks." Branagan hopes the film will find an international audience through film festivals and online platforms. "There is independent Tamil cinema, but mainstream Tamil cinema generally is only taken up by a Tamil audience. I feel this is a bit of a rare film, in that it is aiming to appeal to both Tamil and international audiences, while being a short film. Hopefully, it will get onto different types of platforms," she said. The film has been developed over four years by co-directors Lesley and Srinivassan, who collaborated previously on documentary film "Womanpower" in 2003. The project had received a small seed grant from Australia-India Institute in 2016, which enabled research and and intensive script development with dedicated scriptwriters. The film's Kickstarter page read that the project had reached the fundraising goal, supported by the MATCH Lab's dollar-for-dollar funding, but it was eyeing to raise another USD 2,000 in the next seven days. MATCH Lab is an initiative of the Creative Partnerships Australia, a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Comunications and the Arts. PTI NC SHD SHD

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