National award winner D. Bijukumar on his new film that begins in June

Director D. Bijukumar’s Perariyathavar won him the National film award for the best film on environment conservation/preservation. His Facebook post explains why he is dedicating it to certain sections of the film industry. Here it goes: “My first dedication is to the theatre owners who keep [turning] a blind eye to these genres of films. Next comes the Government which does not do any activity to promote avant-garde movies in Kerala state and not support any cultural atmosphere for making artistic movies, then to the television channels who shun these kind of endeavours… by saying we are not interested in buying the satellite rights of these movies…and finally to the film industry which always try to nullify these attempts.” This is the angst of a filmmaker who has always made movies that focus on socially relevant issues.

The director is forging ahead with his new film starring Kunchacko Boban. “Titled Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal, the film tells the tale of the victims of Endosulfan in Kasaragod. It will be shot during the four seasons and the first one begins in June during the Monsoon. Based on a real story of a mediaperson, the film has Kunchacko playing a photo journalist who covers the terrible scars of a region suffering from the ill effects of Endosulphan,” he says.

Moving on to the awards, Biju feels that having Saeed Mirza at the helm of the National Jury must have made a difference because Saeed is a director who has always worked on themes that dealt with issues of the common man and the marginalised. “All the awards, including the ones for regional cinema, have been given to movies that are not escapist fare. These awards shift the focus to real cinema and real issues. I feel that is a welcome change. What is interesting is that Saira, my first film, was selected to the Indian Panorama in 2006 by a jury headed by Saeed. Although I have never met him, he has somehow played a decisive role in the fate of my films,” adds Biju.