Director’s Statement:

A Thing Of Magic is a Marathi feature film, made by a group of first-time filmmakers from Kochi, Kerala (Southern India), in their early 20’s, in collaboration with an Indian village in outskirts Maharashtra, India, on perhaps a minuscule of a budget and the most minimal and often DIY equipment to support the shoot. For example, our shoulder rig was made out of a few PVC pipe cuttings and bearings.

Our production team travelled more than 2000km from Kerala in southern India and set up camp for a month-long shoot in Arale, a beautiful nondescript village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

The entire film’s cast were first-time actors and residents of the village where the story is set. Most of the actors were not by predetermined choice. They were approached, found, and brought to the set by knocking on doors on the day a particular scene was to be shot. We turned a house in the village into a makeshift audition camp. Auditions for the children’s roles were conducted in pairs. Over a hundred prospective actors turned up. Around a hundred people from the very village acted in the film. Despite this, the film houses some golden moments of unscripted and non-staged moments as well.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the welcoming people of Arale, many of whom are in the cast and surprised us with their effortless acting, to a script originally in Malayalam and English, translated into Marathi, and directed in a lot of Hindi – proving that language can be no barrier to filmmaking.

This journey led to the discovery of acting talent tucked away from the mainstream, and a platform for them to perform and enjoy the challenges and thrills of movie-making. During the entire shoot, we were hosted by the village of Arale and the film soon turned out to become a community project for all of them, invoking and creating some special moments of magic within their hearts, and ours. We hope to return to the village soon, with our love, passion and our film! :)

The film will have its world premiere at the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star 2019! 

My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.