afaqs! news bureau

That time last year when Facebook helped the folk art of Pulikkali roar on the screens than on the streets

It’s the tech giant’s Onam spot and the latest instalment of its ‘More Together' campaign.

“It classes can happen online, why not online classes too?” is a poignant yet intriguing question asked in Facebook’s new short-film for Onam.

A true story, it centres around the popular folk art of Pulikkali, in which performers - painted like tigers - dance in the streets of Kerala to entertain people as part of Onam celebrations.

The film features members of Ayyanthole Desam Pulikkali Samghataka Samithi who found a way to reach their avid fans through a live performance on Facebook last year amidst Covid-19 restrictions; bringing people from across the world closer to the traditions of Onam and enabling them to participate in the festivities virtually.

This short film is an extension of Facebook’s ‘More Together’ campaign that aims to highlight the power of connections you build on the social network.

Avinash Pant, Director - Marketing, Facebook India, said, “Facebook’s core belief is that ‘People can do more together, than alone’ and this film captures the spirit and resilience of people and the numerous ways in which they come together on the platform in less than normal times.”

“This was an extraordinary story and we believed it deserved a wider canvas to showcase the power of online communities in a physically distant world.”

Facebook collaborated with dentsu Mcgarrybowen and Director Atul Kattukaran to bring this story alive.

Sidharth Rao, CEO, dentsu Mcgarrybowen, said, “Great things happen when people come together. We were lucky enough to witness this sentiment. This was one of those rare opportunities to share the true story of the Ayyanthole Desam Pulikkali Sanghataka Samithi for an incredibly consequential global brand.”

“While the scale at which we celebrate the 10-day festival of Onam cannot be replicated virtually, what actually transpired on-ground during 2020 and how we’ve tried to honestly capture that in film, is testament to Facebook’s philosophy of being a place where people can do More Together.”

Atul Kattukaran, director, said "When one door closes, God opens another! I've always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Our plans aren't always the best and most times circumstances lead us to far greater opportunities. That's the theme I explored through this tale of 25 relentless Pulikali dancers who roared together even when the going got tough!”

“This film is particularly close to my heart, because it gives you a glimpse into the lives of this community and how even an ancient art form like Pulikali is ready to adapt and innovate according to changing times.”

The first ‘More Together’ ad was released in March 2020 and showed us how, through the power of connections, an Indian was able to enjoy in Romania.

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