Techie Basil Joseph’s new short film Oru Thundu Padam, starring Aju Varghese, unfolds through a conversation between a feminist and an ogler

Even as techie Basil Joseph’s short film Priyamvada Katharayano?, released on YouTube in September last year, continues to catch eyeballs (3.6 lakh hits, on last count), the young director is already set to release his new short film Oru Thundu Padam. The 18-minute film will be released on YouTube on March 24 at 6.30 p.m. on the channel ClickClapIndia, prior to which, there will be a screening at Nila theatre.

Oru Thundu Padam is Basil’s third short film after Shh, which he made during his college days at the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, and Priyamvadha…, which he made while holding down a job at a multi-national company in Technopark. “The positive reviews that I got for Priyamvadha... really came as a motivation to continue my forays into filmdom. Also, now the expectations are high and I wanted to further test my creativity,” says Basil. The techie is a film buff who taught himself the basics of filmmaking from online tutorials.

Unlike Priyamvadha..., which is a comedy about four techies and their fantasies about the beautiful ‘Priyamvadha’, based on an eponymous short story by techie Arun Kayamkulam, Oru Thundu Padam is a rather serious short film.

“Home grown short films, especially those made on college campuses in Kerala, started off by talking about social issues. Now they too seem to have become all about entertainment. Oru Thundu Padam is not an entertainer but is a bit on the philosophical side.”

The short film, based on a story by Basil’s colleague John Jose, is about a conversation between a feminist and an ogler. Young actor Aju Varghese, who is riding high on the success of stoner flick Kili Poyi, in which he stars in the lead with Asif Ali, plays the ogler. TV anchor Blessy Kurien, who hosts ‘Tech Mantra’ on Amrita TV, plays the feminist. “My role in Oru Thundu Padam is not an extension of the ogler in Kili Poyi! That one was stoned. This one is very much in full grip of his sensibilities!” says Aju, with a laugh. “The conversation takes place while the duo travels in a car and eventually the young woman manages to get her point across. Of course, at the very end, there is a twist…” adds Aju.

The actor says he came on board for Oru Thundum Padam after Basil sent him a link to Priyamvada… “I was very impressed by the film and by Basil’s craft, especially when you consider that he has not really seen how a real film set operates. I think that people like Basil who are actually doing something for cinema are the real future of the industry. It is very important to give people like them a chance,” says Aju. This is Aju’s fourth short film. “I really thought Basil would give me a comedy role. But the ogler has turned out to be very interesting,” adds Aju.

Oru Thundu Padam was shot over a weekend and the post-production work was completed during Basil’s off time – late at night and during weekends. This time, apart from his coterie of friends and colleagues, to help him out with the production work, he’s also roped in up-and-coming professionals such as Vishnu Sharma for the cinematography, Appu Bhattathiri for editing and Sidhartha Pradeep for the film’s music, and Arun Chandu for poster design, to name a few. “Filmmaking really takes a lot of effort and many sleepless nights, especially because I have a job that I really like. Ideally, I want a parallel career in IT and cinema,” says Basil.

So does this mean a Basil-directed feature film in the offing? “Of course,” pat comes the reply.