Andaman: movie with unknown cast tells important story with simplicity


“Pagdi aur chappal ek hi almari me nahi rakhey jaatey (the turban and the shoes are not stored in the same closet)”, complains an upper caste priest, fearing to stay with a lower caste man under the same roof, to the person in charge of a quarantine center. This particular scene from the recently released film Andaman highlights the multiple challenges that the administration of rural areas might have faced in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

Directed by journalist-turned-filmmaker Smita Singh, Andaman is a story that revolves around a failed IAS aspirant who is in charge of a quarantine center in a village. This 1.5-hour film, made on a budget with mostly unknown actors, is a straightforward and honest portrayal of rural India’s struggle against one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises.

“I’m very grateful to actors like Sanjay Mishra and Rajesh Tailang for their cameos in the movie that they agreed to do without paying a single dime. They supported the idea and encouraged me to move forward with making the film which they felt should have been made as well, ”Singh said when speaking to

However, it was not an easy project for the beginning director. “We were unable to approach large players due to financial constraints. My friend Anand Raj (who played the protagonist in the film) made the story and we roped up theater actors from Lucknow and eastern UP who had returned to their hometown of Mumbai after the lockdown . They were out of work after the Covid-19 epidemic. “

With mostly newcomers to the film, it was rejected by distributors. Even OTT platforms refused to buy it because it had unfamiliar faces. The challenge was to bring the film to its right audience. And for that, the directors came up with a new platform that could be useful to aspiring filmmakers who are struggling to release their films.

“This film was made with the support of a lot of ordinary and unknown people. The big challenge was the distribution. Most of the OTTs told us no because they had unfamiliar faces. So we created this platform called Open Theater where you can watch the film after paying a small amount of Rs 45. You just have to connect to the form and pay this small amount. In return, they will receive a referral link that they can pass on to others. If others watch the movie on their referral, they get a cashback of Rs 15. Even if three people watch the movie based on their referral, they can get their amount back.

“We want to bring this film to as many people as possible. And with our own OTT platform, our audience will not only be viewers, but also our business partners. This platform can be used by aspiring filmmakers who are struggling to present their film to their audiences, ”Singh explained.


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