Though winning big, Garggi Ananthan piqued over lack of appreciation
Garggi Ananthan’s burning desire for acting took her to Thrissur School of Drama from Thiruvananthapuram. Garggi has now secured the best actress award for her debut film ‘ Run Kalyani Run’ premiered at New York Indian International Film Festival. She talks to mathrubhumi.com about her award, career and future.
Best actress award
I feel very excited. I knew that my name was nominated for the best actress award. But the truth is that I was busy with my lockdown classes and did not think about the festival. Currently I am pursuing a course on performing arts from Pondicherry University. I was very excited when I heard the news and I immediately called my father, who is working abroad, and told him. He used to motivate me saying I would win an award for this film.
A lot of people have called me after the award was announced. I am now exhausted after all the excitement. (laughs)
The movie revolves around the incidents which take place within four days of Kalyani’s mundane life. I would like to think of the movie as a humanist film as much as a feminist film.
I had a limited number of dialogues in the film. The character communicates through her body language in the movie. I like to act through my body language. I had done research based on the possibilities of using one’s body while acting. I received the opportunity to act in the movie when I was in the final phase of my studies in drama school.
I got the opportunity through Sunitha CV, who also worked in the movie. I met her while auditioning for another movie. The director of Run Kalyani happened to see my photograph and called me later. I was asked to perform a monologue at first during the audition. Later, she asked me to do a scene on my own and send her the footage. My friends from school of drama helped me with all this.
There are only a few female directors in our society. Geetha chechi was able to make her debut film after struggling for many years. Many times, she mentioned that there were difficulties concerning funding. She has also faced many difficulties being a female director.
I did not have to face much problems as an actor as the director of the movie was a woman. She made us very comfortable during the shoot.
School of Drama
I was interested in acting from my childhood. I took part in theatre during my school days. In fact, acting on stage gives you a different excitement altogether. Acting is often called divine madness. I go through such an experience when I’m on stage.
I was planning to go to Canada after my school and did not know much about acting schools or about its possibilities. I applied for different courses in Kerala too after there was a delay in securing my passport. It was my father who mentioned the course at the School of Drama. Even after getting admission there, I wanted to move to Canada once I secured my passport. However, the acting workshops conducted at the school pushed me closer to this field. The training from School of Drama helped me immensely to enact Kalyani in the movie ‘Run Kalyani’.
In love with acting
My passion is towards acting, irrespective of whether it is in a movie or a play. Cinema and theatre are two different mediums. However, my job is only to act.
Theatre and cinema
Theatre acting is performed for an audience. There is a special connection that develops between the actor and the audience during the course of a play. However, acting in cinema is performed in front of a camera. And so, the actors can miss the audience. I found it slightly different during the first day of my shoot. But cinematographer Madhu helped me to come out of that struggle. Both mediums have given me entirely different experience.
Lack of public acknowledgement for the award
Only commercial movies are celebrated by the public as it is catered to them frequently. Meanwhile, parallel movies such as ‘Run Kalyani’ can be seen only in film festival circuits. Maybe that is why awards for Moothon were celebrated by the public. On the other hand, ‘Run Kalyani’ has not reached the public domain in order to be celebrated.
In fact, I was not affected by people not discussing my award. However I was sad when the name of Sanjana Deepu was not mentioned along with Nivin Pauly’s when they both received awards for the same movie.
Pursuing acting career along with studies
I do not try to differentiate between commercial and parallel cinema. I am waiting for good characters. I also want to take my studies forward along with my career.
I think we do not place enough importance for theatre as an art form. People are ready to spend money to watch plays in foreign countries. However, such a culture does not exist in our society.