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Unleashing their dreams

Poster of the film.  

After studying long hours at different colleges in and around Madurai, the group of 15 young boys scurries home to give finishing touches to their first big project. It ain’t any college assignment but collectively and excitedly they are working towards the fructification of a dream.

September 30 is slated for the release of their dream project – a 30-minute fantasy thriller titled “Adhukkum Mela” on Youtube.

The gritty thriller follows a young man who wants to commit suicide but is kidnapped by two strangers who order him to impersonate another man and kill a terrorist. The story takes several twists and turns from here as the boy does not kill the terrorist but is photographed doing so when he is preparing to kill.

Through the gripping story line, Santhosh who has written and directed Adhukkum Mela, also presses in a powerful: the futility of committing suicide.

“We have a wonderful world to live in and should not take away our precious lives,” he says, “because death is for those who deserve it and not the innocent.”

This is the young boy’s second film. The maiden one titled “Happy Day Death” was shot in a single day two years ago. It is about two best friends who have been together from LKG and also share their birthday. And then how unforeseen circumstances lead them to kill each other accidentally on their 16 birthday.

“I was still in school and our annual theatre festival which is entirely a students’ show from the beginning till the end had a deep impact on me,” he says.

If Santhosh found his calling in writing and conjuring up visuals, during the working of the festival, he also hit it off well with a dozen more boys like him. “It was a turning point as all of us realised our hidden potential and decided to team up as Art for Life (AFL) productions,” he smiles.

“We decided to do what we love because the idea was to express ourselves by combining music, words, art, photography, theatre,” says S.Santhosh Krishna, the rapper and the music composer in the team who goes by the name Zenem Velonthrix. So the AFL team has its own actors, director, cinematographer, lyricist, singer, music composer, dancer, interior decorator, keyboard player, fashion designer and they all pooled in their pocket money to produce the film.

Of course, problems at home were plenty, points out S.Shankar. The respective set of parents were unhappy, worried as the boys in their crucial years of writing Board exams were always huddled together till late in night discussing the script, location or music.

“We would disagree and fight and then laugh and make-up but never study as seriously,” he adds.

But one thing they all agree is their alma mater – the Mahatma School in Madurai – provided them the right kind of environment to identify and pursue their dormant talents. It was after writing the class XII Boards this year that the team got into serious detailing for their proposed short film.

Now there is peace at home, smiles Santhosh, as all of us have got seats in decent colleges. “Parents are happy and we are now free to chase our dreams.”

What all of them agree is irrespective of the career they choose later in life, this film making experience has enriched each of them.

“With easy access to resources and camera, it has become fashionable these days to make a short film and share it on public domains,” says Santhosh Krishna, “but”, he adds quickly, “we are more serious about dedicated experimentation for quality end product.”

“Making a short video is a great way to tell your story or get your ideas across,” says Santhosh Srivatsan. So why did he choose “Death” as the theme for both his films? “Our common interest in sci-fi theories and bit of mystic and horror bonded us together,” he says and adds, “We all want to have fun and not miss out on the experiences of film making.”

“Making this film was a basket of experiences – from challenging to thrilling, educational and enjoyable,” follows up Shankar.

Whatever be the outcome, we know we are a combination of talent, dedication and hard work who did not let our dreams die, says Santhosh Srivatsan. I am pretty sure this is not the last we will hear from Art for Life.

(Making a difference is a fortnightly column about ordinary people and events that leave an extraordinary impact on us. E-mail to tell her about someone you know who is making a difference)

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 3:17:17 PM |

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