‘Speaking the unSPOKEN’ – Aayush Agarwal

Speaking the unspoken - aisfm

The documentary, ‘unSPOKEN’, is a journey of a forty-year-old man, in a seven minute time span, about how he stands strong, not only for himself but for others like him. It is an attempt to speak about the taboo that is not spoken about even though there are victims and abusers of the same almost everywhere. This film speaks about one case in particular, and how the protagonist ‘got over it’ by immersing himself in art.

The film starts off with an empty canvas that is being filled by Ganesh. As the journey progresses, you realize that there are emotions that are splashed onto the canvas which eventually end up creating art. The painting has a very deep meaning that can be relatable to anybody who has a buried trauma haunting them. Film, according to me, is a very strong medium to reach out to people. Through this, one can make people more aware of what’s happening around them, with their friends, family or children. Things could happen to anybody – and unfortunately, can happen anywhere.

Being the director, I wanted to keep the film as real and as untouched as I could especially while showcasing any aspect of his (Ganesh’s) life. The script was kept crisp so that we keep the film short and to the point. I did keep in mind that it was important for me to get to the roots from the beginning, especially since he was bullied ever since childhood. The script was written, narrated and visualized by Ganesh himself. Revanth Vojjala (our film’s cinematographer) and I sat down with him after the final draft was written and it was then that we started to give it a structure.

This was something that Ganesh wanted to do for about a year but for a few reasons it hadn’t happened. Coincidentally, I wanted to make a film about this as well. One day over dinner I shared my idea with him and he said, “I think it’s time”; Ganesh went on to elaborate on how he himself wanted to create awareness about child sex abuse for a very long time. We decided on releasing it on November 19th because that day marks World Prevention Day for Child Abuse.

From a film maker’s perspective, the team had a few obstacles because of the subject of the film. Ganesh had a lot of emotional moments throughout. He was brave and had the courage to speak out loud. Revanth and I tried to ease the situation by our banter and bring a smile on Ganesh’s face.

unSPOKEN’ is not just a film for me. As a director there were times when I would be concerned about how sentiments shouldn’t be hurt, and I had to take extra measures, but all that kept aside, the fact that this was so important to all of us, drove Ganesh, Revanth and myself to sail through.

I had a brilliant team to work with, including our editor Punith Mahesh. I just let everybody do their job, not only because I trust them, but also because they’re all so good at their jobs. This helped the entire process go on smoothly and we had a good time shooting. Fun fact, on the day of the shoot we had the location for about 2 hours, so the painting in the film has been made in less than an hour!

We got to spend some time with the kids and that for me, was the most colourful part of the film. The kind of energy they got to the set added a fresh and positive vibe, lightening the baggage of emotions we had been carrying throughout the shoot.

My collaboration with Ganesh Nallari managed to fall into place so well because we were good friends even before having the ‘Director-Producer’ equation. This made the entire process much easier and ignited a vibe to just go and get things done. All the hardships and obstacles said and done, the end result was all worth it.

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