THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The gap between art and commercial films has shrunk and now exists only two categories - good and bad films, national award-winning scriptwriter Sajeev Pazhoor has said.
He was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club on Monday. Pazhoor is the winner of state and national awards for best screenplay for “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum”. V C Abhilash, who won the national award for best film on social issues for Alorukkam, was also honoured at the function.
“The era in which art and commercial cinemas were two entities has gone. Nowadays, films of excellent academic quality are also box office hits. “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum”, “Parava” and “Sudani from Nigeria” are some among them,” he said.Pazhoor said films of artistic and commercial value were nothing new in Malayalam cinema. “1980s saw several such films. In fact “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum” was an earnest attempt to bring back the glory of the 1980s noted for films like “Varavelpu”, “Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu” or “Gandhinagar 2nd Street” he said. Pazhoor and Abhilash opined that the film industry now offered equal opportunity for men and women. “Earlier the sheer size of equipment had posed a challenge for women who wanted to work on the technical side. But with the advent of digital technology, equipment have become handy making things easier for women,” he said.
Pazhoor said women in Malayalam cinema had self-confidence and professional excellence. “Gender has ceased to be an issue. Now what matters is whether they are content-oriented or not,” he said.According to Abhilash, the industry has become women-friendly but not the society. He shared the experience of his lone woman assistant director for “Alorukkam”. “Her male counterparts used to come to my apartment any time of the day for discussions.
But she couldn’t as my neighbours were sceptical about frequent visits of a woman to an apartment where men lived,” he said. Pazhoor recalled his experiences with veteran directors Lenin Rajendran and Shaji N Karun. “I felt cinema as a serious art at the sets of Shaji Sir. After years of work in the so-called art genre, I’d a different experience while working with directorDileesh Pothan. His screen order shooting style was a new experience for me,” he said. Senior journalists Prabhakaran, Malayinkeezhu Gopalakrishnan, Sudhakaran Press Club president G Rajiv and secretary S Satheesh Babu spoke.
‘Gender no longer an issue in Malayalam movies’
V C Abhilash, who won the national award for best film on social issues for Alorukkam, says women in Malayalam cinema had self-confidence and professional excellence. According to him, gender has ceased to be an issue and now what matters is whether they are content-oriented or not.