Documenting the life of a legend

DECCAN CHRONICLE | ARAVIND K S
Published Sep 29, 2015, 4:44 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:50 am IST
Engineer-turned-actor Soumya Sadanandan is earning a lot of praise for her documentary Chembai – My Discovery of the Legend
Soumya Sadanandan
 Soumya Sadanandan

Even when she was attending the classes of electrical engineering at College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram, she was dreaming to step into the realm of tinsel town. It was after working as a technical supporter at Apple Computers in Bangalore for four years, she decided to chase her dream. Soumya Sadanandan, familiar in the role of a television anchor and an actress, has now stepped into a new role — documentary filmmaker with Chembai — My Discovery of the Legend.

For Soumya alias Sou, the new role is just a small part of her big dream. “I love cinema and I do not like to categorise it as departments. I started my career as an assistant director in Cinema Company. Then I worked as an assistant in ad films and short films, before directing several short films.”

 

“Later only did I become an actress. I am doing all these because I love cinema,” says Soumya. When it comes to her latest venture, she says, it happened after her visit to Chembai village last year. “I like to travel a lot. It was during such a journey I reached Chembai village, where Chembai Ekadesi Music Festival was going on. It was then I realised that it was the centenary year of the fete. I liked that mood and ambiance. Though I was not trained in Carnatic music, like every Malayali, I listen to songs, irrespective of genres. The concerts which I heard inspired me a lot and it was how I zeroed in on an idea to document the fete and Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar,” she recollects.

Though she was not carrying any camera with her, she recorded enough footage in her mobile phone. “It was with that footage I came to my friends and shared my idea to make a documentary on this concept. They all backed my idea and thus we started the pre-production. Exactly after a year, we went back to Chembai together. My project is a tribute to Chembai,” says Soumya, who is overwhelmed by the response from the music followers and film buffs to her documentary.

“It was after premiere at Chembai that we arranged a public screening at Kochi, in association with a theatre club. It was slated to begin by 4.30 pm, but the seats got filled even 15 minutes before the show. While the screening was on, around 35-40 people were standing outside owing to the crowd inside the hall. Post screening, I got good comments from those who came to watch my documentary. So, for those who missed the show, I am planning to arrange a screening at Kalabhavan Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram on October 4,” says Soumya, who is currently working as an associate director with cinematographer-turned-director Krish Kaimal’s debut directorial venture Olapeepi.

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