Everyday superheroes

The Film Employees Federation of Kerala, or FEFKA, has joined hands with IAM (Indian AdFilm Makers) and released a series of short films to raise awareness about assorted topics around the coronavirus pandemic.

The films are in Malayalam, with English subtitles (except for the first 3 films). The films clock under a minute and use a fantastic framing device – of elevating normal, routine and simple actions by normal people as extraordinary (given the circumstances) and celebrate them as superheroes!

The 9 films cover a range of simple, everyday actions that seem extraordinary in these lockdown days.

In the first film, a lawyer (named Vanaja) asks her maid to not come from the next day onwards and tells her that she’ll get her pay. This means more work for the lawyer at home, but that’s precisely the effort that is highlighted.

Sadhanandan not going to his niece’s wedding, Vidhya picking up the only 2 bottles of sanitizer and leaving one behind, Subair picking up foreign hikers on the road with compassion and a generous dose of sanitizers, Sara admonishing the Colonel to not go out for a walk with his friends, Shaji deleting one fake WhatsApp forward and auto driver Suni dropping a nurse home late at night and not asking for the fare form the rest of the films.

My favorite films include the one that doesn’t show any person at all. This one, called, “Veettilirikkuna Super Heroes” (the superheroes who stay at home) is framed using only a tree. This is the tree under which a group of people used to sit and discuss nothing and everything. There is no one under the tree now and that simple act of giving up on their favorite pastime is framed as a great act.

The other one is perhaps the best, in terms of its narrative device: Anthony! The little boy is an ‘ordinary player’ from Team Thottumkara.

He rises up to the occasion, makes a passionate and tough announcement to his teammates! There are tony nuances that make this film so much more enjoyable, like the nudge by Anthony’s friend to correct that the pandemic is not just in their district, but the country… and Anthony taking it one step ahead to not just say ‘country’, but the ‘world’ (logam/loham)! And then the final touch… or the lack of it! Watch the film to know more 🙂

This is a fantastic effort, in terms of timing and in terms of creativity! The situations are so relatable and utterly ‘everyday’. But it is these ‘sacrifices’ that need to be highlighted as ‘necessary’. And framing them as a heroic task is a great way to induce people to follow suit!



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