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In the big league

Basil Joseph  

It really is the time of short-film makers in Mollywood, with several young wannabes catching the eyeballs of viewers and industry insiders alike with their filmmaking efforts and finding their own space in the industry. Thiruvananthapuram-based techie and short-film maker Basil Joseph was one of the first to jump on the short film bandwagon and win ‘likes’ by the dozen for his well-made shorts Shh, Priyamvada Katharayano? and Oru Thundu Padam, all of which were released on YouTube. Now, Basil, all of 25, is all set to turn feature film director with Kunjiramayanam, starring actor-director-singer Vineeth Sreenivasan in the lead. The film brings together Vineeth and his brother and actor Dhyan Sreenivasan, for the first time. Vineeth’s buddy and actor Aju Varghese also has an important role to play in the film.

Naturally, Basil is on a high. “I’m excited but at the same time, I am tense too. The positive reviews for my short films were what motivated me to continue my dreams in filmdom… and finally, my dream is coming true!” says Basil, a graduate of College of Engineering, Trivandrum, who used to work at Infosys in the city. In between, the youngster has acted in a couple of films and was also an assistant director to Vineeth on the thriller Thira.

Kunjiramayanam, says Basil, narrates the story of Kunjiraman (Vineeth) who lives in a remote, old world village in Kerala, surrounded by greenery, myths and legends. “The film is a realistic comedy about Kunjiraman and his friends and their unrealistic adventures and misadventures. There’s a bit of a fantasy to the narrative as well,” says Basil.

One of the highlights of the film is that almost all the crew, save for the art director and costumer, has come from the short-film background. “The average age on set is 25, with Vineeth ettan and Aju ettan being the ‘oldest’ of the lot at 30!” says Basil, referring to the film’s writer and scenarist Deepu Pradeep (of Unnimoolam fame), editor Appu Bhattathiri, 23-year-old cinematographer Vishnu Sharma ( Oru Thundu Padam, Escape from Uganda), music director Justin Prabhakaran (of Tamil short Panniyarum Padminiyum-fame), and the like.

Kunjiramayanam, which is being produced by 25-year–old Suvin K. Varkey, another debutant, under the banner of Little Big Films, will go on the floors on April 23 in Kollengode, Palakkad.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 3:44:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/in-the-big-league/article7113213.ece

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