Priya Belliappa is a film director and screenwriter. Priya enrolled at Srishti School of Art Design and Technology and then went on to join Phoenix O&M in Sri Lanka as an art consultant. She then completed her post-graduate degree in film direction from FTII (Film and T.V Institute of India).
Her student film made in her second year at FTII won a national award for Sound Design and was designed by her fellow student Anmol Bhave. Hazy Grey Skies in her final year diploma film featuring the renowned actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui debuted Karlovy Vary, Fresh Film Festival in Prague. It has since been featured at Interfilm Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Expresión en corto International Film Festival, River to River Florence Indian Festival, Asian Film Festival – Mumbai and IFFI 2012.
After graduating Priya Belliappa assisted directors Sunhil Sippy and Ram Madhvani on several advertising films. She then went on to become associate director for the critically acclaimed Kannada movie Mathe Banni Preethsona, which was directed by Ravindra H.P. Das.
Priya Belliappa’s debut feature film, Ring Road was filmed in Kannada in 2015, and was recognised by UNESCO for having been made by an all-women crew. The film is a psychological thriller that is based on a true crime that occurred in Bangalore, India. UNESCO featured this film in their book on gender equality, heritage, and creativity.
When I wrote and directed the films India still had not implemented the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), only National Register of Citizens (NRC) was implemented in the state of Assam. India is burning as the country steps into 2020, there are protests and agitation all around the country as these acts are being implemented.
Migration is the biggest crisis of this century. Countries big and small have still not figured out a humane solution to the burgeoning crisis. Walls are being built and fences are being erected. But the ingrained inherent human trait of migration cannot be curtailed.
India gained Independence from the British in 1947 and one morning the nation was divided and lines were drawn. But, people have been crossing over mountains in the north and seas in the south for over half a century now. Traveling from country to country, traveling from the villages to cities looking for opportunity looking for a better life.
India is a country that is an amalgamation of many languages, religions, and cultures. When India gained independence lines were drawn dividing the country into states based on language. Many small communities and cultures and languages were clubbed under bigger umbrella states. Now more than half a century later these little pockets of uniqueness are disappearing.
This film was borne out of my thoughts regarding the state of us as a civilisation.
My primary thought behind this project is to portray the reality of a multicultural multilingual diaspora is still not a part of the mainstream social film fabric. As a filmmaker it is astonishing that in our country where there are so many languages are spoken simultaneously we still keep making single language films.
I am from a small district in Karnataka State called Kodagu. We speak a language called Kodava Takk. Only around 2,00,000 people in the world speak this language. Very soon in the near future, this language and culture will disappear. The coffee plantation has sustained the people of Kodagu for over a century. I wanted to touch upon my roots and document a culture that will not exist in the near future.
Coming from a family of coffee growers I have been interacting with migrant labourers work seasonally. I have listened to their stories year after year. Their constant struggles always left me unsettled. As a filmmaker, I chose their story. The film is based on true anecdotes that have been woven together and fictionalised.
All these thoughts came together in the form of Frayed Lines. I wanted to touch upon conflicts that people face at different levels. Whether a graduate who is unable to find a job in the city or a migrant worker who cannot beat the system. India today is burning because of the implementation of the Citizen’s Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Frayed Lines is a statement of the current political and social situation in India.
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