Freddie’s Piano: independent Brotherhood-based feature to be released on Neestream tomorrow
Freddie’s piano, the next independent feature film directed by Aakash Prabhakar, Release on Neestream Thursday.
The film is produced by Somasekhar Kovvuri, Lisa Kovvuri and Mathivanan Rajendran under the Stray Factory banner in association with Here and Now Production and Silcrun INC. The director of the film, Aakash, also donned the cap of actor and co-writer for the film. It also features actors Mathivanan, Drishya Gautham, Leela Samson, Mekha Rajan and Anirudh, among several others.
The film follows Aden (played by Aakash) who wants to give her brother Freddie (played by Pranav) a piano for Christmas. However, Aden struggles to afford Freddie’s school bus fare. Freddie, meanwhile, wants his brother to be free, as he was when their father was alive. In the end, the two brothers learn that what they really need is each other.
The film has screened at the 2021 New York Indian Film Festival and the 2020 Scottsdale International Film Festival.
In conversation with Silverscreen India, Aakash who is also a theater artist says that Freddie’s piano explores themes of brotherhood, being there for family, unfulfilled wishes and emotions like innocence, love and grief. Aakash adds that films like Children of Heaven, Stanley Ka Dabba, Life is Beautiful and Iranian films which explored the idea of the innocence of children, inspired him to make Freddie’s piano. “The emotions conveyed in my film are universal and a global audience can connect with them,” he says, calling Freddie’s piano an English-Tamil film because the characters speak both languages in the film.
Aakash says that for the role of Freddie he needed a boy who could play the piano. The creators chose Pranav Mylarassu from AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory. “We did theater workshops and some screen tests. We handpicked the other actors, most of them had theater training, ”he says.
For Aakash, the idea of doing Freddie’s piano is very close to his heart because he was inspired by personal experience.
“When I was about eleven years old, I started to learn to play the piano. After a while I really enjoyed playing it and asked my mom if she could get me one. At that time, buying a piano was an expensive affair. After learning how much I wanted to play the instrument, she bought me one. It wasn’t until a few years later that she told me that she had to put in more effort and save some money to buy the instrument. This incident has stayed with me forever. it made me write Freddie’s piano,” he says.
Aakash says he first wrote Freddie’s piano as a short story and then developed the idea into a feature film. He notes that a few years ago, while attending a film workshop in New York City, he met a potential producer who was willing to invest. After he and other crew members boarded, the project took off in 2018.
“I roped filmmaker Batul Mukhtiar, who directed the National Award winning film Kaphal, as co-author of Freddie’s piano, he says.
The exterior scenes of the film were shot in Pondicherry and the interior scenes were shot in Chennai. Choosing Puducherry as the film’s primary location, Aakash says the pace of the film is slow and he didn’t want it to take place in the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city. While noting that Goa, as a filming location, is “overkill”, he adds that he opted for Pondicherry because it was a beautiful city to explore and since he knows the place and the language well. is spoken.
“It took about six months to complete the script and we started pre-production in early 2019. The film was shot for about 25 days, not in a row but spanning six months. We also did simultaneous edits. At the end of 2019, we started post-production and the final sound mixing was carried out remotely during the containment induced by Covid-19, ”he adds.