Salim Ahmed, director of the award-winning movie ‘Adaminte Makan Abu', says he plans to remake the film in Hindi featuring actors with commercial value.
Interacting with art lovers at a ‘Meet the Director' programme at Nanappa Art Gallery here on Wednesday, Mr. Ahmed said that the film, noted for its honest portrayal of a bunch of virtuous rural folks, deserved a larger audience. “I have been asked time and again why I created a rural Utopia inhabited by simple, honest individuals and my response has been, ‘I just wanted to remind everyone of an era marked by virtue and honesty when people belonging to various castes, communities and religions and possessing varied political leanings lived harmoniously'. It is really unfortunate that these days our actions are governed by religious, political and communal biases,” he said.
Reflecting on the conception of the movie, he said it was almost a decade after he accidentally bumped into the real-life prototypes of Abu and Ayesha, the protagonists of the film.
“I was at Jeddah airport looking for someone to share my baggage weighing about 100 kg. Every Gulf Malayali proceeding on leave is a courier for his friends as he is tasked with delivery of gifts for their loved ones back home. So, while I waited, there was this old couple holding plastic carry bags on their way back after performing Umra. They had lived an austere life to save up for the Hajj, but settled for Umra fearing they would never make it to the Hajj.
The agent accompanying them looked desperate to scoot and the moment I made friends with the couple, he disappeared.
“Our flight got postponed, first in Jeddah and then in Mumbai, and looking after them as we stayed in star hotels became my responsibility. During this period, I learnt a great deal about their undying spirit, life and the virtues they possessed,” he recalled.
Concurrently, the gallery organised an exhibition of 13 paintings, including 11 works done by as many artists as part of the 11-11-11 camp conducted there. Noted artist Bose Krishnamachary, who received the ‘11.11.11 catalogue' from veteran artist C.N. Karunakaran, said that the camp was demonstrative of the love and affection the artists had for one another.