The severe and long term impact of COVID-19 on the Tamil film industry has left many struggling to make ends meet. Recognising the challenges faced by thousands of workers in the sector, in October 2020, directors Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan announced a unique project that united the creative community of Tamil cinema to send a strong message of solidarity and resilience. Leading directors, actors and technicians came together and graciously offered their services pro bono to bring to life Navarasa, a nine-film anthology for Netflix – an initiative to raise several crores to help those in need in the Tamil film industry.
Speaking on the initiative, Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan said, “Navarasa is truly a gesture of solidarity as it brought the industry together to provide support during an unprecedented crisis. We are thrilled to say the relief and support from the film will reach over 10,000 deserving beneficiaries across the industry, starting from February 2021 for upto six months. To effectively identify and reach the beneficiaries and their families, we turned to Director RK Selvamani, President of Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI). We have partnered with Bhoomika Trust, which has over two decades of experience in disaster relief, to deliver this relief monthly to each worker and their family. We hope this relief will enable the industry to come back stronger and continue creating stellar work loved by audiences everywhere.”