‘The Last Vision’ is Sajan Kurian's first attempt at making a movie. He says that the film will be sent to a 100 film festivals
The Internet trailer of ‘The Last Vision' is gripping, it sucks you in. It grabs your eyeballs, demands your attention and arouses curiosity. And then it's over and it leaves you pondering over what you just saw. Sajan Kurian makes his debut as director with this film which is set for its premiere in the beginning of next month. You will have to wait till May for the theatre release.
Incidentally the script is based on a short story by Sajan, ‘Samaya' (Time Traveller). This self-taught director has no background in filmmaking except a ‘passion' for cinema. The questions ‘Where did you learn filmmaking?' offends him. ‘Assistant to?' also offends him.
A voracious appetite for cinema crystallised into a desire to make films. Rather than perpetuating the ‘same old clichéd' brand of films and filmmaking, Sajan seeks to experiment beyond ‘established clichés'. “If I went to a ‘film school' I would be learning the same prescribed things, then how would my film be different?” A pertinent question, indeed. Post production work is on and Sajan takes a break from editing for a chat.
It is, anyway, a good time to be a debut film maker in Kerala and everywhere else too. It doesn't take a Friday to make or break a fledgling career. In the old days a film maker had to earn his spurs the hard way. Graduating from being an assistant director for years together to being a director took years of hard work. Even the video cassettes came later; and film festivals were few, if at all. They developed their own idiom, told their stories their way, without intellectual pretentiousness. Access to films is easy today – the Net, Youtube, DVDs, VCDs or CDs? Want to make a film? It's easy.
Incidentally there is a CD story to Sajan as well. Among the other things he did before he became a film maker, Sajan had a CD library.
“It was given that I was extremely interested in films,” he says. His team, he says, has not much experience in making films (one can't help wondering if the editor has experience). The film has been produced by DRK Motion Picture and core team comprises P.S. Bahuleyan and Ajith (both production), Ajay Devaloka (editing) and Mohammed Ali (music).
The lead actor Arun Ramakrishna is a first timer and Russian national Olga Popova (the female actor) was a random ‘tourist' he approached for the role. He clarifies, “she went back to Russia and came back on a work permit.” Among the others in the film are Tamil actor Pasupathy and former model Milind Soman. Resul Pookutty and Pattanam Rasheed are also involved in the film.
How did he get Resul Pookkutty in? “I called him, went to Chennai and met him. And he was in.” It involved waiting for Resul at A.R. Rahman's studio where the mixing for ‘Enthiran' was in progress. Sajan's explanation for Resul agreeing without even seeing the script (there wasn't one, by the way) is, “when people see a mad man doing something different from the others, some people want to join him.”
No script, no commercial element, no songs…love for cinema is one thing but will that pay the bills? This is where festival marketing and an agency that does it comes in.
Chennai-based True Fix will send the film to around 100 national and international film festivals. “There are so many of these around the world…if the film gets an official selection and then there are the satellite rights, DVD rights…” suffice it to say that a couple of crores of rupees can pay the bills.
Can't help thinking about what the wise (and the pragmatic) say about love, the one about needing more than love and fresh air to survive! There is, after all, sound economics to it.
But one wonders what his second movie will be all about.