For a long time Shahina K. Rafiq held a dream close to her heart — to write a book on eminent filmmaker K.G. George.
While doing her research in film studies at the University of Calicut, Shahina could not think of a better subject for her book. “I felt that he never received his rightful due,” said Shahina.
She went about collecting details about her subject, and when she felt confident of her homework, shared the idea with the iconic filmmaker over phone. “He allowed me to pay him a visit, but was not receptive to the book citing his poor health.”
But fate conspired and the idea of a book somehow gave way to a documentary, a fitting tribute to a filmmaker who enthralled viewers with his cinematic brilliance.
Shahina rang up her friend Lijin Jose, director of Malayalam film Friday, who jumped at the idea. Thus was born the documentary, Cinemayile Mattoral, which went on the floor a few days back. Though the documentary will showcase the personality of the filmmaker to a certain extent, the focus, undoubtedly, will be on his timeless classics including Adaminte Vaariyellu, Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback, Panchavadi Paalam, Mattoral and Yavanika among others.
Incidentally, Lijin had recently received a call from George praising his debut movie. “As a film student, George sir was one filmmaker I always looked up to. I don’t think there is any other filmmaker who has done such a wide spectrum of movies without repeating themes. He is an underrated director in an industry where all discussions end with Bharathan and Padmarajan,” said Lijin.
There is no strict schedule for the shooting of the documentary, as it depends on the convenience, primarily of George who suffers from post-stroke health issues and that of others speaking of the filmmaker.
“We have completed almost all the portions involving George sir as per the original script. But now we are planning a few more scenes portraying the director’s interactions with actors he has directed in the past,” said Shahina.
The hour-long documentary shot in multiple locations will feature writers M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Paul Zacharia, film directors T.V. Chandran, Ranjith, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Anjali Menon, and B. Unnikrishnan, actors Fahad Fazil, K.B. Ganesh Kumar and Menaka, and film critic C.S. Venkiteswaran among others. Filmmaker Balu Mahendra has also agreed to be part of the documentary. “We are also trying to rope in actor Suhasini who has portrayed a very strong character in Adaminte Vaariyellu,” Shahina said.
Actors Mammootty, Nedumudi Venu, Sreenivasan and Innocent who have essayed memorable roles in George’s films have also agreed to appear in the documentary.
The documentary is being produced by Shibu Susheelan, canned by Neil D’Cunha and edited by Ajith Kumar.