Children of established actors following their parents’ footsteps is not new for Mollywood — Prithviraj and Indrajith, Dulquer Salmaan and Keerthy Suresh have all been treading their parents’ footsteps. Interestingly, the trend is catching up behind the camera too with children of top directors stepping into the technical world of showbiz. The latest crop in the list are Ani I.V. Sasi, son of master director I.V. Sasi, Sidharth, son of director Priyadarshan, and Nikhil Menon, son of actor-turned-filmmaker Vijay Menon.
Vijay, known for his roles in Mukham, The King and Bharathan’s Nidra, is wielding the megaphone for Vilakkumaram after a brief gap and his son Nikhil is joining the film as a screenwriter. “In fact, the story of Vilakkumaram was not written for a film,” reveals 22-year-old Nikhil, adding, “A few days back, through my friend, a team appro ached me and asked me if I could write an English novel for their website. As I was keen on starting off as a writer, I agreed to do it.”
“But unfortunately, they failed to launch the site. When I showed the story to my father, he found a film in it and asked me to start writing its screenplay,” says Nikhil.
An engineering graduate, he was not interested in a film career. “When I completed my high school, I chose to join engineering just because I was not mature enough to find my path. But in two years, I realised that I should shift focus to something creative and detected a writer in me. Though I am the son of an actor-director, I was not planning to land up in films. It was once dad chose my story for his directorial venture that I became part of the industry. In fact, it was then I started to study more about screenwriting. As I cannot write in Malayalam, I got help from my dad to compose the language,” says the screenwriter, who is interested in acting.
Ani Sasi, who is venturing into screenwriting for his father I.V. Sasi, is graduating into the new role after working in the direction department of award-winning filmmaker Priyadarshan. “In fact, I am just a co-writer film along with Achan and newcomer Miyog. The basic scripting is over and we are working on other areas of the movie, which will be filmed in English, Arabic and Hindi,” says Ani, adding, “Apart from being the co-writer, I would be part of the crew as an associate director.”
This, however, is not Ani’s first work with his dad. He was part of the master director’s last film Vellathooval. “I was pursuing graduation in Visual Communication when Achan directed the film. Though I went to assist him, I could not work properly, but he gave me enough instructions about the shots and more. Later, I went for internship under sound designer Rajakrishnan and he taught me the technical side. Then I joined Priyan sir for internship from Akrosh. Later, I got promoted as an assistant and since Geethanjali, I am his associate,” says the co-director of Mohanlal-starrer Oppam.
Priyadarshan’s son and daughter have also stepped into the industry as assistant director and assistant art director. “It was during the shoot of Oppam, that my son Sidharth, who is doing a graduation in Graphics in the US, came for vacation. As I was on the sets, he joined my camp and was there like an assistant. When he asked me about the framing, lens, angles and direction, he too cleared some of my doubts regarding graphics as the movie had some graphic elements. His only demand was to use graphics which should not be identified by audience,” laughs Priyan.
About his daughter Kalyani, he says, “She is a graduate in Architecture and joined Sabu Cyril’s team for internship. And it was as part of the internship that she worked in Vikram’s upcoming film Irumugan. She would assist him in a few more films. I don’t know whether she would take it up as a career. Anyway, Sabu will be my art director in my next Hindi film which has Akshay Kumar in the lead role and so, Kalyani too will be part of the crew.”...