Movie making has become easier with the advent of technology. However, the artistes and technicians need to put in their best efforts to make the movie a noticeable one. Meet Maaya Sivaa, who has donned 10 roles for her directorial debut Dhan, which is a first-of-its-kind achievement in the history of world cinema. In addition to direction, she has written the story, script and dialogues, and was also at the helm of art, costumes, makeup and action choreography of Dhan.
Maaya, a practising lawyer, took a two-year break for completing the movie. Her husband Sivaa has played the lead role in it. Sivaa is basically a cyclist who has won many accolades at the national level.
“Film direction was never in my dreams. I was into writing right from my schooldays and have won many prizes. Though a cyclist, Sivaa always had immense passion for acting. Since I was into writing, he asked why we can’t do a movie together. That’s how Dhan was born,” says Maaya.
The movie was shot completely in Vithura forest and the story deals with the adivasis settled there. It focuses on the issues faced by women in that area, how our society’s activities have affected their life etc. Maaya says the shooting was very risky and strenuous at the same time. “It’s easy to say that we shot a movie in a forest. Only when we get into the dense forests do we come to know about the risks involved in it. We chose Vithura forest as we are settled in Thiruvananthapuram, and it had a waterfall which was an add-on. We didn’t want the shooting to affect our son’s studies, so the location was spot on.” She also asserts that there were specific reasons for her multiple roles and risk taking. “First of all, the movie was shot in a limited budget, so we had to limit in terms of technicians. I being a dancer and fashion designer, makeup department was easy to handle. Art was the most difficult segment as we needed to setup some huts in the forests. Many were ready to produce the movie, but we took up the production as we wanted the movie to be exactly as what we imagined. If it is another producer, we may have to compromise on many segments. Since there weren’t many artistes in the movie, it was easy to handle.”
She states it was so challenging to manage these 10 roles. However, she thanks her husband and son for their immense support, which helped her in completing the movie smoothly. “It was really challenging. But I had the confidence that I could do it well. My husband and son were there to support me all the time. The movie got appreciation from the Censor Board members too. It was them who asked us to send the details to Guinness World Records. The details have been verified and we are waiting for the next step.”
Mayaa is full of confidence as the movie releases today. She’s also gearing up for her next movie, which will start shooting in April. She will be handling the story, script, direction and costumes. “Dhan will be a refreshing movie. I’m sure the audience will appreciate our effort,” she signs off.