This article is the seventh in a series of articles featuring movie posters from across India, released and unreleased works too, for their merit. Keep watching this series for more.
After working with agencies such as Media Bee and Magic Sign, Kerala-based designer Riaz started his own publicity design agency called Whitemarker, in 2011. Whitemarker mainly designs for Malayalam films, and occasionally designs posters for other regional films as well. Since the beginning, Riaz has now come a long way, with 100-odd films to his credit.
Among his projects, we looked at two of his favourites – Nee ko njaa cha and 1983. Nee ko njaa cha, which means ‘Kill you, then Kill Myself’ is a 2013 comedy thriller following the lives of three friends across Kochi and Goa. Its posters simply use composites of stills, and the logo differs in Malayalam and English (which, given the complexity of the script, is understandable).
This project put him in the spotlight, bringing him more work from other directors in Kerala. The posters done for 1983, a 2014 sports drama, take a fresher approach, merging cricket-related elements with the poster and the logo, making its theme obvious to even a non-local.
The designs, although heavy, are a positive change from other work done in the region. Talking of his methods, Riaz confesses that in future, he would like to find release from such heavy photo manipulation; he’d rather do more conceptual, story-based work, and is optimistic that people’s preferences will evolve over time to bring about this change. We asked Riaz whose work he admires among his contemporaries and were glad to hear him say Marching Ants and 24am.