Sherrey's debut feature film, ‘Aadimadhyantham,' has been selected for the international competition section of IFFK 2011.
In the last 10 years, Sherrey has never missed the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram. While watching classics from around the world, little did the young cable operator from Thaliparamba, Kannur district, imagine that one day his own film too would be screened at the festival, and that too in the international competition section.
“To say that I was shocked when I got a call from the Chalachitra Academy informing me that my film has been selected for the competition section of the IFFK would be putting it mildly. When I entered the film, my best hope was that it might be selected for the Malayalam Cinema Today section,” he says.
‘Aadimadhyantham,' Sherrey's maiden feature film, is one of the four Indian films in the competition section (‘Adaminte Makan Abu' is the only other Malayalam film).
Making a mark
It was after making a mark with his short films that Sherrey decided to direct a feature. All the five short films – ‘The Return,' ‘Kadaltheerathu,' ‘The Last Leaf,' ‘Suryakanthi,' and ‘Geeta Govindam' – he made during the last six years earned him recognition, including State film awards for the best short film. And watching those films, one can easily gauge his potential as a filmmaker. ‘The Last Leaf,' for instance, screened at the ALA short film festival in Kozhikode three years ago, was a sensitively crafted film about two young nuns and suppression of sexuality.
It was the confidence that he gained from making these short films that made it possible for the creation of ‘Aadimadhyantham,' says Sherrey. “To make a feature film has always been a dream and I had written even a couple of scripts, one of which I was planning to shoot with Naseeruddin Shah. He agreed to do it too, but he asked me to wait for a year. Then I thought of ‘Aadimadhyantham,' which I felt I could make with a smaller budget, as it didn't require major stars,” he says.
No big names
The biggest stars in ‘Aadimadhyantham' are Mamukoya and Indrans. The only other ‘experienced' actor is Sajitha Madathil, a theatre actor and deputy director of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. The film is about a four-year-old boy's fears about death and his loneliness. “Little Ekalavyan, who is speech impaired and who can hear only with a hearing aid, has nightmares about death. There are three elderly persons living in his house and every day when he gets up he makes sure that they are not dead. While he dreads the nights, he loves the days and enjoys the sights of nature,” says the director.
Sherrey had to visit many schools before finding the right child actor for the role. “Eventually, I cast Prajith, who has come up with a brilliant performance, though he had no previous experience in acting,” says Sherrey.
‘Aadimadhyantham' has been produced by P.A. Rasheed, under the banner of Kulthar Creations. The film was shot using a digital camera, drastically cutting the cost of production. “It was after watching ‘Chappa Kurishu,' which was made with the same technology, that I got the confidence to make ‘Aadimadhyantham,'” says the director.
Sherrey says the film will be released in cinemas soon. “The selection to the IFFK will hopefully make things easier for us to take the film to viewers,” he says.