Director Sanjeev Sivan, who debuted with Mammootty starrer ‘Aparichithan’ is back after an eight-year hiatus with a story that has not been told in celluloid before. “‘Venalodungathe’ (Endless Summer) based on a true story narrates the battle of an old couple to have a child out of their dead son’s semen.
Ratheesh, son of Ravi Kumar and Karthiyayani of Angamali, was a sound engineering student. His semen was collected and stored in a hospital for further use after he was diagnosed with a tumor in testicle. The 28-year-old passed away last January and his parents had won a case against the hospital to retrieve the sperm for a heir.
“I had read a report in The New Indian Express on the legal battle of Ratheesh’s parents, and based on that, I did a documentary ‘Afterlife’ on the subject. But I realised the subject’s scope as a feature film only on the last day of the documentary’s shooting,” says Sanjeev who had 67 documentaries of international repute to his credit.
The strength of the theme beckoned international associations for the film and the American Television Network HBO has brought the theatrical rights for its North American release.
About the cast and crew of the film, the director elaborates: “T A Razaq is the scenarist. After listening to the story, Seema Biswas went to the extent of dropping her Hollywod project to play the mother character, Ammalu. National award winner Salim Kumar portrays the father Sivaraman’s character,” says Sanjeev. Bhagath Manuel plays Manu, the son while Siddique appears as the couple’s advocate.
The 124 minute film produced by Jagdeesh Chandran has been selected to eight international film festivals till date. M J Radhakrishnan cranks the camera while Rajamony has done the re-recording. The film has two songs written by ONV Kurup and tuned by Vidyadharan.