Tracing a Sri Lankan Tale
By Express Features | Published: 02nd June 2014 10:48 AM |
Teeming with chocolate romances, silly comedies and senseless potboilers, shortfilm scene was facing a quality crisis for the past few years. Reigned by incompetent people, who dabble with filmmaking in their spare time, this film genre was yet to find a strong footing. This is when five youngsters, who are in their early twenties, set about to make their debut shortfilm. In order to make their entry special, they made sure that they have an exceptional story to conceive. Their film ‘Terema’, which means ‘choice’ in Sinhalese, is a story not many would dare to tell.
“We didn’t want to make a shortfilm just for the sake of it. The shortfilms we come across often deal with romance. And from the very beginning we have decided that we will not take a random subjects for our film. ‘Terema’, is not a simple subject, instead it delves deep into the lives of youngsters, who witness violence all around them,” says Yeldho, one of the makers of the film.
The film, set in the backdrop of 1991 Sri Lankan riots, explores the life of a 14-year-old boy, Rana, essayed by Dipin Raj, hailing from the lawless slums of Palliyagodella. Between the soaring violence and brutality, Rana struggles to find his identity. Hence, when he comes across a gun, he is lost in the tussle between right and wrong. These young filmmakers are translating the dilemmas of many such young boys on celluloid with their portrayal of Rana.
Ajesh AV and Yeldo Paul, who just completed their engineering from Kochi, wrote the script, keeping in mind that their film should have a strong social impact. They called the shots for the film. Deepak P Kumar and Nithin Zeyo, who served as associate directors are as involved in the project as its directors Ajesh and Yeldho. The murky streets of Kochi put on a Sri Lankan mask in the adept hands of Aneez Rasheed who cranked the camera for Terema, while Ebin Vox made the edits.
Yeldho says the film is a reminder to those who forget about their ‘Karma’ and how they should always be ready to face any challenges thrown at them with élan.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A minute is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny,” says the film’s tagline.
The makers are planning to send the film to myriad festivals in the coming year.