ShoutOUT! Migrant worker Madhavan releases second short film 'Painful Path'

You may remember our review of $alary Day, a short film made by migrant worker Madhavan R in 2020. Released during the height of the dormitory lockdown in Singapore in 2020 during the pandemic, $alary Day brought to light the financial struggles migrant workers living in Singapore face. Madhavan is back with a second short film and we are thrilled.  Titled Painful Path, the short film is an expression of his longing to see his wife and family back in India. We caught up with Madhavan for a quick chat.

I guess the film sums up your general mood at the current moment. What do you miss most about home? How often did you go home before Covid-19 happened? 

When I wrote the script for this (Painful Path) short film my wife was 9 months pregnant. We both miss each other and it's a hard time for both. It's tough to be a migrant because being away from family was very difficult. Due to covid restrictions I cannot fly back home to see my wife and new born baby boy. I visited home 3 times in 4 years span. 

When did you start picking up filmmaking? 

Started filmmaking in 2019. My first short film $alary Day, went viral in singapore. After that only I got the confidence to write more scripts. 

How did you learn the skills of filmmaking and where do you edit your films? 

Initially I wrote poems. It helps me to write scripts for short films. For $alary day Mr Ho Say Peng my Singaporean friend helped me in cinematography and editing. For "Painful Path" one of my friends Mr Midun and Mr Surya Vimal helped to edit the videos. 

Who is part of your filmmaking team? Where do you get support from? 

For $alary day Mr Zakir helped me to rope in Say Peng. For Painful Path I got more support from my friends circle and Ms Krithi accepted to do my wife role. 

What were the difficulties you faced in making this film? 

It's difficult to find the cast. Aside from this film, I also got the same cast to act in two other short films about a sex worker's life and the littering of plastic waste. Also, due to budget issues, there are technical challenges in making films and also, I cannot add music. 

What kind of movies do you like? 

I like Tamil cult movies.

Please share about your current situation in Singapore. We understand it is not an easy time for a migrant worker. 

I left Singapore 5 months ago due to some health issues and also I want to stay with my baby boy for sometime. 

Do you wish to join the movie industry in the future? 

I want to be an independent filmmaker. Am not sure about the future. If I got the right chance I may join in film industry.

You can watch Painful Path right here

You can also help Madhavan by contributing to his future filmmaking efforts via a donation. Simple scan this QR code here to donate. 

Interview by Jeremy Sing
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