Kunchacko Boban, Mahesh Narayanan’s Festival Hit Film ‘Declaration’ Snapped Up by Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

Declaration” (“Ariyippu”) a festival hit film by acclaimed filmmaker Mahesh Narayanan and popular actor-producer Kunchacko Boban, has been snapped up by Netflix.

The film bowed at Locarno and is playing at the BFI London Film Festival. This week it plays in the Busan International Film Festival’s A Window on Asian Cinema strand.

The Malayalam-language film follows Hareesh (Boban) and Reshmi (Divya Prabha), an immigrant couple from Kerala working in a medical gloves factory near Delhi, and who aspire to go abroad for a better life. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, when an old video resurfaces among the factory workers, it opens up a Pandora’s box that threatens the couple’s jobs and marriage.

The film will premiere direct-to-digital on Netflix after its festival run.

“We are overjoyed by the love and appreciation ‘Ariyippu’ has been getting from film festivals all over the world. To be the first Indian film in the competition section at Locarno after 17 years and have an Asia premiere of our film at Busan, it has been an overwhelming journey until now. This story is about the internal fight we all face between conscience and compromise and is inspired by the many lives that were impacted during the pandemic,” said Narayanan. “We couldn’t have asked for a better platform than Netflix, to have our labor of love reach audiences in 190 countries is fantastic and we cannot wait to see what the reactions are from viewers across the globe.”

Narayanan is one of the renaissance men of Indian cinema. Besides writing and directing, he debuted as a cinematographer with “Malayankunju” and is also a veteran editor with more than 60 film credits, many of which starred Boban. Narayanan’s directorial debut “Take Off” featured Boban in a pivotal role. For “Declaration,” Boban also serves as producer via his Kunchako Boban Productions, the first one under the banner. Producers also include Boban’s famed family studio Udaya Pictures, Narayanan’s Moving Narratives and Shebin Backer, who co-produced “Take Off.”