Five of Malayalam cinema’s hottest young directors get together to make an anthology on romance titled 5 Sundarikal.

Five young directors, who have each made a mark of their own in Malayalam filmdom, have joined hands for 5 Sundarikal. They call the film an “anthology of love” – five films, each approximately 30 minutes – that celebrate love. Amal Neerad’s Kullante Bharya, Anwar Rasheed’s Aami, Aashiq Abu’s Gowri, Sameer Thahir’s Esha and Shyju Khalid’s Sethulakshmi are the five films in the pack.

“We had planned this concept sometime ago but it took a while to materialise, as all of those involved in the film, from actors to cinematographers to editors, were all busy with other projects. But we’ve been updating each other about the project all this while. It helped that we are all close group of friends. We really wanted Rajeev Ravi too to direct a film for the anthology. But he couldn’t because of his packed schedule. Instead, he’s the cinematographer for Aashiq’s film,” says Amal, who is also the producer of 5 Sundarikal.

“Although, the shorts bear the name of women, this is not a woman-centric film. The storylines, the cast and the cuts have been decided by the directors individually. We have not tried to link the stories and the basic similarity in the pattern is what acts as the connection,” he adds. The films have a veritable who’s who of young Malayalam cinema in the lead roles, including Fahadh Faasil, Dulquer Salmaan, Kavya Madhavan, Jayasurya, Nivin Pauly, Honey Rose and Reenu Mathews, to name a few.

Amal’s film is a voyeur account, shot in point of view, and narrated in reported speech. It features Dulquer, Reenu and Muthumani in the lead. “I feel that there has been a certain change in my mindset after I turned 30 and made my debut feature film Big B. And perhaps this mindset has been reflected in all my four feature films till date. The short Kullante Bharya is perhaps closer to the mindset of my diploma films that I made while studying filmmaking. For this film, all five of us have adopted a different style of storytelling when compared to the films that we have already made,” says Amal.

He thinks that there has also been a progressive change in the mindset of the viewers and because of that they are nowadays more receptive to genuine experiments in cinema. “We had such camaraderie on the sets of 5 Sundarikal. Frankly, filmmaking has never been so fun before! The actors too have been supportive all along and we hope that the camaraderie will come across on screen,” he says.

Sitting inside the Maharajas’ College campus in Kochi, the campus where it all began for the five where he was once the Chairman of the college’s students’ union, Amal feels that “the five of us represent contemporary Kerala and this film is a tribute to the centenary of Indian cinema.”

Aashiq, who has just started shooting his next film Idukki Gold, says that 5 Sundarikal is going to be a visual treat for the viewers and it will showcase five different love stories. His film, Gowri, he adds, is about the love story of a married couple. Kavya Madhavan and Biju Menon play the lead in the film, which also features playback singer Rimi Tomy in an important role.

Sameer’s film, Esha, has Isha Sharvani (who is making her debut in Mollywood) and Nivin Pauly as two strangers who happen to meet in a house on a New Year’s Eve. Says Nivin: “I couldn’t be part of Sameer’s debut Chappa Kurishu, though I was offered a role in it. Since then I have been waiting for Sameer’s call. I am super excited about this character.”

Anwar’s Aami, meanwhile, will have Fahadh, Honey Rose and Ashmita Sood in the lead. Anwar says that the story unfolds on an eventful night and can be called a road movie. “It has a multi-layered structure and it was really exciting to be part of this movie,” adds Fahadh. Cinematographer Shyju is the debutant director among the five. “My film is an adaptation of a story by M. Mukundan and it has two young actors, Anika and Chethan, playing the lead. I am keeping my fingers crossed as I wait for the response from the viewers,” says Shyju.

Apart from Rajeev Ravi, 5 Sundarikal has camera by Amal , Shyju , Alby and Ranadive. The music directors are Gopi Sundar, Biji Bal, Prashanth Pillai and Yakzan Gary Pereira. The film will hit the screens in June.