P.K. AJITH KUMAR
Madhu Kaithapram won the National film award for the best debutant director for his movie ‘Ekantham.’
Madhu Kaithapram is delighted. He won the best debutant director award for his movie ‘Ekantham’ at the recent National Film Awards. “When I entered ‘Ekantham’ for the National Awards, my aim was to bring into focus the superb acting of Thilakan and Murali. I am glad that Thilakan got a special mention from the jury,” says Madhu.
The exuberant director is planning two films. “One, a story revolving around a strong female character, for which I have Nandita Das in mind. However, she is free only by January. The other is a campus story. Since I can’t imagine the first film without Nandita, I will be doing the campus film first,” says Madhu.
Coming back to ‘Ekantham,’ he says it is the positive response from directors such as T.V. Chandran, K.S. Sethumadhavan, Cheran and his guru Jayaraj at the Goa festival’s Indian Panorama that gave him the courage to enter it for the National Awards. Claims Madhu: “Even renowned film critic Derek Malcolm appreciated the movie.”
The film, which depicts the lives of two elderly brothers, was borne from an experience in Madhu’s life.
“My elder brother died of kidney failure and I was with him while he was being treated . When I decided to make a film based on the theme, Alankode Leelakrishnan, who wrote the script, told me there was a similar incident in his family as well. I had decided, right at the beginning, that Thilakan should do the elder brother’s role.
“Murali came into the picture when I saw him in a television interview, greyed and bearded. The film worked so well because of these two gifted actors,” says the Payyannur-based director.
Madhu is disappointed that the film didn’t get a proper theatre release. “It ran for just three days in most cinemas, and by the time the film had formed a good opinion, it was taken off. I believe the State Government should do something about promoting good films.”
‘Ekantham,’ he says, was made within a budget of just Rs. 35 lakhs.
“And it will give a profit to the producer, Antony Joseph, through satellite rights and National telecast. It is perfectly possible to make good films with limited resources; that is something I have learnt from Jayaraj, under whom I started working from the days of ‘Kaliyattom.’”