Somewhere among the crowds formed in the streets of Aruvikkara on election-day were also an unassuming young director and his little crew, cameras with them recording the shouts and slogans and the inevitable quietude that comes with moments of anxiety. Sanalkumar Sasidharan wanted the real scene he was witnessing in front of him for his new film.
He could then put his fictional characters on this real life background, blend fiction with nonfiction. After Oraalppokkam and the awards and recognition it brought him, Sanal had been quietly supporting independent cinema.
Travelling with films through Kerala, screening independent cinema at select venues through a venture called Cinemavandi. But with Aruvikkara elections came the time to pick up his bags once again and go out to make a motion picture. He had with him a famous story Ozhivu Divasathe Kali by well-known writer Unni R.
The film too would have the same name — Ozhivu Divasathe Kali (An off-day game). “It is about four friends who go out to spend a fun holiday and things take a serious turn. That story is famous, and there is not much suspense in it. The novelty should come in the making of it,” says Sanal. And he is depending on the political undercurrent that the story brings to make it appealing. The actors are new and non-famous. Theatre artiste Abhija will play the only female character in the film, while Sridhar plays the male lead.
Sanal is looking forward to the changing times in Malayalam cinema, with independent movies finding a theatre release, and actually staying on for two-three weeks at a stretch. “Filmmakers add masala to sell the film, but now people are accepting a different approach to making films. There will come a time when there won’t be a need to classify cinema into mainstream and parallel.”...