Thilakan, in the eye of a storm in Kerala’s cultural sphere, took his rightful place in front of a movie camera on a grey Wednesday morning at Kozhikode -- for the first time in eight months.

The veteran actor, who has not been cast so far any other film following his fallout with AMMA, the organisation for Malayalam film actors, is playing the lead role in ‘Achan’, directed by Ali Akbar. A few scenes featuring Thilakan, who plays the central character of an old man fighting loneliness, were shot on Wednesday, with police protection.

“I had asked for police protection because I was worried some miscreants could turn up at the location and disturb the shooting; when last month I announced that I would be making a film with Thilakan my car was attacked,” the director told The Hindu. “Thankfully, there have been no problems so far; even if there is any, I will go ahead with the film.”

He admitted he could face problems to release the film, because of the presence of Thilakan in it. “I am hoping to release the films through the State-owned theatres like Kairali and Sree,” he said. “And if my film is denied even that platform, I will take it to the streets and screen it using projectors.”

Thilakan said it was extremely unfair that he was forced to take a break from work. “Gross injustice has been meted out to me by my colleagues in Malayalam cinema, but I am not going to give in,” he said. ”I will act at least three films a year, in spite of the threats to my life I regularly receive on phone. And I will also be doing theatre.”