Her first two short films – Randam Varavu and 9th Month – belonged to the horror genre. Actor-director Utthara Unni wanted to try a different genre for her third venture and finally zeroed in on dog love. A dog lover, it was not so difficult for her to conceptualise and make the short film Paw Prints that released on Sunday at an event held in Ernakulam. "Since I am a dog lover, those who know me have been expecting something like this," she smiles.
"Paw Prints portrays the relationship between a man and a dog. It shows how the central character John (Siddique), who hates dogs, finally falls in love with one. It is an emotional film," she adds. The film was shot in Kochi and the cinematography is by Azhagappan. "The difficult part was to find an apt house for shooting. Eventually, we got one within our colony. I was unsure whether they would agree. Another fear was how to make the dog act. However, everything turned out well in the end. Working with Siddique Sir was a great experience," she says. Utthara didn't have to go in search of the thread. She had experienced it at her home.
"The story is inspired by my father's relationship with my dog Momo. When I brought Momo home, he was dead set against keeping him and unwilling to take care of him. My mother was also not very interested in keeping Momo at home. But things changed over time and they started liking my dog. And, now my father cannot live without Momo. He goes out to buy food for it. He likes Momo better than me," she laughs. In her opinion, a dog should be treated like family. "I have always been a dog lover. When I grew up, I wanted to own a dog and my uncle brought me one. That was one of the happiest moments in my life. If we have a dog at home, we get attached to it easily. I treat my dog like a family member." She hopes that Paw Prints would inspire more people to love animals.