The sobering story of Pebbles, about domestic violence in India, is inspired by an incident in filmmaker P.S. Vinothraj’s real-life past, in which his sister was “chased away by her husband” and forced to walk 14 miles whilst cradling her baby in scorching terrain.
In Pebbles, set in a sun-baked, drought-stricken region of southeast India, a young boy (Chellapandi) follows his violent and alcoholic father (Karuththadaiyaan) on a quest to fetch back his mother, who has run away following his latest abuse.
During the film’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Film: International awards-season event, creative producer Amudhavan Karuppiah told us that the movie could help bring about change in the industry itself. “Producers like Mr. Vignesh Shivan and Ms. Nayanthara backing the film could encourage a lot of filmmakers to come up with such subjects, which are often turned a blind eye to,” he said.
Filmmaker Vignesh Shivan produced the Rowdy Pictures film with his wife, the actress Nayanthara.
Vinothraj, who makes his directorial debut, also talks about the process of finding his impressive lead actors.
India’s official submission for the 94th Oscars was nominated for two Asia Pacific Screen Awards and played at festivals including Rotterdam, New York’s New Director’s New Films and Melbourne.
Check back Monday for the panel video.