Majeed Gulistan, director of the children's feature film ‘Chithrakuzhal: the bird catcher,' has said that it is an adventurous film that tries to address environmental issues such as global warming, poaching, deforestation and wildlife extinction through children.
Speaking at a ‘Meet-the-press' programme organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club here on Saturday, Mr. Gulistan said the film, shot in forest locations, conveyed the message of sharing and showing compassion to nature and our fellow beings.
“This is a very relevant film in today's scenario. The main theme of the film is sharing and compassion between human beings and nature. As it was entirely shot in forest locations, it was also a challenging film to make. The film also has the distinction of being the first Dolby Digital children's film in Malayalam,” Mr. Gulistan said.
‘Chithrakuzhal: the bird catcher,' produced by Dhirubhai Productions Pvt. Ltd., tells the story of Virundhan, a tribal boy, who tries to rescue his classmate, Charu, a forest ranger's son, who is kidnapped by poachers. The duo meets Amina, another classmate, who is running away from the police. The film is about the daring journey the three children undertake.
Shot in the deep forests of Peppara, Neyyar, Agasthyarkoodam and Meenmutty, the film boasts scenic shots with glimpses of rare wildlife and flora of the Western Ghats.
“Most of the locations that we have shot in were caught on camera for the first time. Sometimes, we had to walk long distances to reach the location,” Mr Gulistan, who has directed numerous short films and documentaries, said.
Cinematographer M.J. Radhakrishnan said the experience of spending nearly 20 days in the forests was rewarding. “We did have difficulties with shooting in these locations where we could not transport set lights, generator and such heavy props and had to manage with available light. We have tried to overcome these limitations to a great extent and hope that the result has been good,” he said.
Film producers Dhirubhai Chauhan and Nilesh Chauhan; lead actors Amal Ashok who plays Virundhan, Sidharthan who plays Charu, and Meera Nair who dons the role of Amina; and Vijayakumari who plays the role of Virundhan's mother; were present.
“The environmental issues addressed in the film are very relevant today. We decided to produce this film after reading the script as we thought it is important to educate children about these issues so that they can make a difference in the future,” Mr. Nilesh Chauhan said.
Sharing his experience of working in the film, Master Sidharthan said it helped him learn more about forests. Ms. Meera said some of the shots were very challenging. Master Amal, who has acted in films such as ‘Katha Parayumbol' and ‘Thakarachenda,' said shooting in the forests was very exciting. Actors Madhu, Indrans, Vijayaraghavan also don major roles in the film.
“There are a very few films in Malayalam that cater to the sensibilities of children. Most of the time, children are exposed to films that are targeted at older audiences. This film is an attempt to create a new culture in children's films,” Mr. Gulistan said.