Cinema is probably the only industry that changes every Friday. Movies that are running in theatres are replaced by new ones and the next one week serves as the crucial time which locks the fate of its makers. Some movies leave the theatres even without getting noticed and some remain in the headlines for more than 100 days. Another aspect of movie-making is that the audience is least concerned about the hard work and passion involved in it. When they criticise or applaud a movie, it is also either a stepping stone of a director's success or a strong reminder that he/she has to work harder.
But it cannot be denied that off late, Malayalam film industry is in a transition phase and the type of subjects that are being made into movies is different and unique. New and fresh minds helming projects is definitely the reason why different genres are experimented and made into movies, that too without losing the commercial aspect and compromising on technical quality.
It can be noticed that some of the directors who belong to the new generation yet established clan, like Alphonse Puthren, Basil Joseph and Jean Paul Lal, do not have years of experience assisting an acclaimed director. These directors first proved their calibre through viral and hit short films, and then attempted feature films. Many more movies that will release in 2019 or have been announced are being directed by debutants. They might be giving their first shot in movie-making, but have been passionately following the craft for years in order to reach their aim and carve a niche for themselves.
The latest to join the club is Girish A. D., director of viral short films Mookuthi and Vishuddha Ambrossey, and co-script writer of Kunchacko Boban-starrer Allu Ramendran. He has announced his debut movie that will be produced by Jomon T. John. Girish says, “Making a short film is entirely different from directing a movie. Experience in short filmmaking has given me the confidence to direct a movie, but it can never be said that directing short films paved the way to movies. I would have made movies anyway, as it is my passion and ultimate aim. Short films were a platform to display the craft in me, but when it comes to directing a commercial movie, the approach is entirely different.”
Girish adds that after directing a short film, one cannot apply the same logic while making movies. It is very important to make sure that the audience likes it, which shows if I am a ‘good’ director and capable of making movies that the viewers like. Because at the end of the day, we are selling something and the takers should love it. Only then will you get more chances to display your talents.”
Bilahari K. Raj’s directorial debut Allu Ramendran will hit the screens this Friday. He too has short films and ad films to his credit. A very excited Bilahari says, “This is my dream-come-true moment. I have been waiting for this with bated breath.” Asked if it was a cake walk after directing a viral short film Oru Kannadi Kadha, Bilahari says, “No, I have worked day and night to reach the position I am enjoying today. I know that nowadays, youngsters have a wrong perception that making a short film will provide them ample content to present before a producer to convince him to invest in a feature film project. Movie-making is an art and one only succeeds in it if they are lucky enough to be noticed. Initially, it was very difficult for me as zeroing in on a good content and approaching an artist was very difficult. Even if the subject is fixed there are not many actors who are ready to give it a try. Nobody accepts an offer to do a movie with a debutant simply because his/her short film did well. The fact of the matter is that it is the other way round and people watch your short film once your movie is a hit. In that regard I think it is always a best option to assist an acclaimed director before directing a movie because that helps a lot to understand the method of movie-making.”
Bilahari, therefore, before attempting to direct a big budget movie, made a feature film, Porattam with a budget of just Rs 25,000, which was even less than that of a short film. Explaining the difference he sees in directing a short film and a movie, Bilahari says that short film is all about the director’s decision and he/she is the one who decides how to narrate the story, but when it comes to movies, there are many people who have suggestions all of which need to be counted and taken into due consideration.
June, which is also a much awaited movie of 2019, will mark the debut of director Ahamed Khabeer who has been directing short films. One thing is for sure that these directors are promising newcomers who are here to stay and direct quality movies in future.