PAVITRA CHALAM, CURLEY STREET MEDIA
“There are two emotions I would rather not waste time on – guilt and regret. There’s too much good stuff to be immersed in!” Behind that practical, pragmatic and perfect statement is Pavitra Chalam, Founder and Director of Curley Street. Pavitra and her diverse, opinionated and young team make films and noise about “the uncomfortable, the awkward and the complex.” – things that are ignored, thereby creating social justice narratives which they feel require further public discourse.
Pavitra fell in love with the medium of film when she represented India as a Peace Ambassador to Pakistan in 2003. She recalls that it was a difficult time for both countries and as a team they decided to put forward every misconception and historical error everyone grew up with and make it into a film. Indians played the role of Pakistanis and vice versa. Voted to be the director, Pavitra and her crew shot the entire film on a bus and called it ‘Bus’, meaning ‘enough’ both in Hindi and Urdu.
Her tryst with film continued over the years and Curley Street was established along the way. Pavitra says that while films are commonly viewed as devices of escapism, she strives to achieve the opposite. She noted that, “There were too many compelling stories around us that had no way of being told. The challenge was to create a storytelling style that would captivate and persuade audiences to engage with the subject.”
Curley Street primarily focuses on telling human stories about underrepresented issues like complex needs, sex trafficking, drugs, oppression, the environment, education and healthcare. Determined to stay true to its vision, Curley Street only collaborates with organizations and entrepreneurs looking to build deeper customer engagement through real impact stories. Their persistence and refusal to compromise on core values has paid off, making Curley Street a sought-after production house for brands that understand the power of the human narrative.
Pavitra, who gets over tough days by eating chocolate and getting ample cuddles from her dog Bono says that she is lucky to have strong female role models in her life. Every story, subject and protagonist leaves a lasting impact and gives her the faith to continue to do what she does. With so many more stories yet to be told, Pavitra feels that it is a filmmaker’s responsibility to ensure that while the audience feels the weight of the raw emotions involved in storytelling, it is never glorified or exploited in any manner. In her words, “It is important to keep it is simple, powerful and yet very real.” And that is exactly what Curley Street does.
Follow their most important story Rooting For Roona www.rootingforroona.org
If you would like to see more of their work, you can go to their YouTube channel: Curley Street on YouTube