Ananth Mahadevan: Kerala audience is more cinema literate

Actor turned director Ananth Mahadevan praised the audience in Kerala for their ability to welcome and interpret films from different genres. The director was speaking as part of the third segment of the ‘Meet The Directors’ session at the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala. The session was attended by director Anuraj Manohar (‘Ishq: Not a Love Story’) and debut director Fahim Irshad (‘Aani Mani’).

Mahadevans’ film ‘Mai Ghat: Crime No 103/2005’ is showing in the ‘Indian Cinema Now’ category at the IFFK. The film was a rousing success and the director was especially proud that so many people could understand and empathise with the lead character Prabhavatiyamma and her struggles. Mahadevan was challenged to create a film from court documents. He said that adapting a film from such detailed cases involved combining fact with sentiment. Sometimes real-life was even stranger than fiction, he added.

Fahim Irshad explained that digitisation had democratised filmmaking. More and more passionate filmmakers could aspire to have their films made and shown to large audiences. He also talked at length about censorship and how red-tape and regulations had prevented ‘Aani Mani’ from screening at the Indian International Film Festival. Irshad hoped to drum up support for the film by releasing it at prestigious film festivals and so get it to a wider audience. He was frank about the fact that the politics of the film – which deals with the ‘beef ban’ and lynchings –was also a major turnoff for many distributors and viewers.

Cesnorship had even begun to creep into major online distributors such as Netflix, the director revealed.Anuraj Manohar, director of ‘Ishq’ talked about his experiences working on both analogue and digital films. The older analogue style was more rigorous and time-consuming to do. As an experienced assistant-director, he enjoys the freedom that digital filmmaking brings to directors and actors. Manohar added that stress was the enemy of good-filmmaking. He used his own film ‘Ishq’ as an example, citing that 28 days of night shooting had caused a lot of stress for the actor and technicians. He also talked about the menace of moral-policing and how it was the right of every Indian to live a life free of fear. Moral-policing was also disproportionately directed at women and this was something he tried to bring out in his film.

He also expressed great happiness at having his debut directorial in the IFFK and felt that it was a dream come true.


Learnt the craft of natural acting from
Malayalam Cinema: Sarada

Veteran actress Sarada today said that she learned the craft of natural acting through working in the Malayalam cinema industry.

Participating in the ‘In-Conversation‘ segment of 24th International Film festival of Kerala (IIFK), the National Award winning actress shared her experiences of working in the movie Tulabharam directed by A. Vincent. The film had fetched her the National Award for Best Actress. Following the blockbuster Malayalam version, the film was made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, with Sarada playing the lead role in all the versions. Though she has achieved huge success across industries, she confessed that she learned the craft of natural acting through working in the Malayalam cinema.

Sharada spoke to Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA) Vice- chairperson Bina Paul, about her long innings in cinema.

Talking about how she got in to films at a young age, she gave all credit to her mother for showing much enthusiasm for making her a ‘big star in the cine world’. Sarada claimed her entry into politics as accidental. Though she didn’t have any political ambitions, she chose politics as she couldn’t deny the opportunity of serving the people who had watched her films and made her a big name in cinema.

Recollecting her good old days in cinema, she advised the new generation actors to concentrate more on the ‘acting’ profession as there are a lot more distractions in the current day digital world. She also released a book on the J C  Daniel Award winning actor Sheela at the event.