THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Everyone has a story to tell. This is the realisation that prompted Senna Hegde to make his directorial debut with a 91-minute Malayalam docudrama, 0-41*, which premiered three days ago at The Bayou Film Festival, in Lafayette (USA). “It features real people who have dramatised and re-enacted actual incidents that occurred to them. It offers an in-depth and honest look at the rural way of life in India,” begins Hegde, who’s been working as a creative director for multiple international advertising agencies for over nine years in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Shot in Kanhangad (Kasaragod), the feature revolves around two rival volleyball teams—comprising locals including labourers, government employees and a few ‘Gulf hopefuls’—and showcases the fear, aspirations and issues that arise in their lives, when one team loses 41 games in a row.
Off the court
Inspired by documentaries like Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing—which follows the neorealism style, where real subjects are used to recreate a dramatic feeling—this low-budget film was shot over nine days using a Canon 5D Mark III camera with Sync Sound recording. And he chose volleyball as the game reminded him of his childhood, where youngsters played it to kill time. “Since this is our debut venture, we faced quite a few technical issues. But thanks to my four-man crew—namely Keertan Poojary (director of photography), Unni Abhijith (sound), Jayanth Seege (assistant director) and Syam Krishnan (editing)—things went fairly smoothly in post-production,” claims the Queensland University of Technology graduate.
Leap of faith
The characters—who speak only in the Kanhangad dialect— paint a vivid picture of the rural youth in the state, as the pressures of losing on and off the court catches up with them. “There are no actors among our six-member cast. Hence people find the characters highly relatable.
There is an on-screen innocence about them, especially during their tongue-in-cheek conversations about alcohol prohibition in Kerala.
Besides shedding light on social concerns like unemployment, our docudrama also touches upon the rise of atheistic notions among the youth,” explains the 39-year-old, adding that though there is no commercial release date yet, the docudrama will be showcased next at the third Noida International Film Festival which will be held on February 7), followed by a screening at Rapid Lion: The South African International Film Festival, in Johannesburg, on March 15.
The details are available on facebook.com/041 film.