Aakash Prabhakar’s maiden venture in cinema ‘Freddie’s Piano’ makes it to the official lineup of NYIFF 2021. NYIFF Celebrates Unmatched Breadth of Indian Cinema with films in 15 languages this year. The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) is North America’s oldest and most prestigious film festival which features cinema from India. ‘Freddie’s Piano’ was screened virtually at the Scottsdale International Film Festival last year.
‘Freddie’s Piano’ is a young adult film about two half-brothers Aden and Freddie. Aden wants to give Freddie a piano to fulfill their father’s dream; Freddie wants to give Aden the freedom he dreamed about when their father was alive. In the end, both brothers learn that what they really need is each other. Freddie’s Piano is a simple film about what Aden does to get his younger brother Freddie a grand piano for Christmas.
Aakash comes from a theatre background and has done several plays, short films under his company – Here and Now – since 2015. In theatre, he has worked with renowned names like Atul Kumar, Jeff Baron and Sunil Shanbag. He also has acted in a number of short films like ‘The Long Drive’ with Sheeba Chaddha, ‘The Connection’ and ‘Shut up’.
Aakash exclaims, “I am ecstatic about the film being selected at NYIFF, Freddie’s Piano is a story which is very personal to me at some level and so it is very close to my heart. Although the film on the surface looks like it’s about the elder brother (Aden) trying to buy his Younger brother (Freddie) a grand piano for Christmas, the piano is a metaphor or a way for Aden to tell his younger brother that he is there for him no matter what.”
Aakash has always loved and been a part of theatre, writing, acting and directing plays in Mumbai and all through his college and theatre days Aakash was fascinated by films like Life Is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni), Salaam Bombay (Mira Nair), Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi) and so he would try and write simple stories that would make people smile with joy and tears in their eyes.
Aakash adds, “We have set the film in Pondicherry because it is a small, quaint town with a curious mix of French and Tamil architecture and culture. I also wanted to set the story in a Tamil Christian family as opposed to a Goan or a Mumbai Christian family which I have seen more often in our films.”
Pranav Mylarassu, who plays 12yr old Freddie in the movie, is a star pupil of A R Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory, which has added an additional dimension of authenticity to the film. This is also Pranav’s debut as he is not an actor but primarily a pianist which landed him the role after doing many days of workshop with the director.
Freddie’s Piano’s Screenplay was written by Batul Mukhtiar, a National award-winning filmmaker. Produced by Independent film producers Somasekhar Kovvuri and Lisa Kovvuri based out of New Hampshire.
The film is co-directed by Sudharshan Narayanan who studied filmmaking at Mindscreen Film School in Chennai. He has been a part of several regional south Indian feature films including ‘Koode’, ‘Richie’, and ‘VIP2’ as an associate director.