Sidharth Harikumar made Saffron Ash in response to the atrocities against women and believes that women should empower themselves and react to any situation
A year-and-a-half ago, when a Dalit girl was brutally murdered at her home in Perumbavoor, Sidharth Harikumar read about it in shock. Many similar news that followed were an eye-opener for him, that women, educated or not, rich or poor, were unsafe everywhere, from rural to urban areas and even in their homes. He heard many persons opining that rapists and molesters should be murdered; and he felt it was not the right reaction to the attack on women.
He says, “I feel they should speak out and share it with people. Women should empower themselves and react to any situation. Even their revenge should be less violent in nature, like a spiritual revenge.” That was what he discussed in his first short film Saffron Ash — the spiritual revenge of a woman. The 24-year-old himself has handled the story, screenplay and dialogues apart from directing the film, which has on board theatre artistes Aparjitha Ghosh, Bilas Nair and Dr Veena Sahay, all selected via audition.
The 18-minute Hindi short film, entirely shot in Varanasi, was so beautifully made that it earned an Honourable Jury Mention at the just-concluded 6th Delhi Shorts International Film Festival. Sidharth couldn’t be happier, but he is heavy-hearted that his dad C.S. Harikumar, the producer of Saffron Ash, couldn’t get to see his achievements or even the finished work; he passed away during the production.
Family — dad and mom Keerthi — has been the biggest support for this native of Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram, when he, after completing his B.Tech, decided to follow his heart and joined a filmmaking course at London. “I wasn’t brought up as a studious child. I have been studying Carnatic music since childhood and was exposed to art and culture. Movies being an amalgamation of all art forms, I naturally became attracted to filmmaking,” he recalls.
The award has boosted his confidence and Sidharth has started working on his next project. “I haven’t decided if it would be a short film or feature film. All I know is that I would make movies on subjects that would touch people and change their thoughts, however minute it is,” he concludes....