Is sight essential to enjoy a feature film? 23-year-old Sivaprasad Kashimangulam’s answer is a big ‘no’. The overwhelming response he received from the visually-challenged after screening his one-hour-forty-five-minutes long feature film ‘Shadows’, made for the blind confirms his claim. The movie made with Daisy technology - Digital Accessible Information System, a digital talking book, which gives voice narration to scenes without voice - has a strong story and cast to support it.
“I am quite excited about the response I received from the audience. Even those who are not blind enjoyed the movie thoroughly. The Daisy technology used in the movie did not disrupt the movie experience for them,” Sivaprasad says.
It was during his brief stint with Schogini Systems Sivaprasad met Salih, a visually challenged colleague. He and Salih easily became friends and started counting each other as their support. Salih changed this young filmmaker’s perspective towards life. His outlook towards blind people changed drastically and he started visiting Chakshumathi, a non-profitable institution for the visually challenged with Salih. There he witnessed a new world where those who are rejected vision surviving with what little they have.
“When I visited Chakshumathi I knew instantly that I need to do something for them. Me and my nine other friends decided to make this movie for the blind. Daisy technology has been tried out previously in Bollywood movies such as Sanjay Leela Bansali’s ‘Black’, but it is still rare in India. So this is a first venture from a Kerala film maker,” says Sivaprasad.
Salih, who has been in the background from the pre-production period contributed to the script and the technical part of the movie immensely. It was him who had done researches on the Daisy technology and come up with its immense possibilities. “He has walked me through all stages of filmmaking. Though script was solely written by Sivaprasad, I have contributed my ideas for the blind character. When he read out the script to me I added a blind’s thought process, mannerisms, and reactions to it,” says Salih.
Sivaprasad, who works with Applexus Technology in Technopark as an iPhone apps developer has made three short films before ‘Shadows’. ‘Shadows’, which deals with the story of four people, has been shot like a conversation between two of its characters.
Chakshumathi which conducts a summer school for the blind children brought in their inmates and blind children to Sree Padmanabha Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram to experience something they have never got to enjoy. “The story, technical executions and sound effects of this movie are really good. People like me who got to see it enjoyed it immensely and gave very good feedbacks of the same,” says Salih.
Sivaprasad is planning to release it just like any mainstream film. However there are not many who are ready to distribute this newcomer’s venture. “This is a novel concept in Kerala so we want people to know about it and come out with more movies for blind people to enjoy. So I want to release it just like any other movie,” says Sivaprasad.