KOCHI: Vijeesh Mani is a happy man. It’s no surprise as his directorial debut based on the life of Sree Narayana Guru has already received the certification from the Asia Book of Records. Having received the recognition, the director is now aiming for a mention at the Guinness Book of Records. His feature-film ‘Viswaguru’, which was screened recently at the Nila theatre at the capital, entered the record book for being scripted, shot, edited, censored and screened within a short span of time- around two days to be precise.
For the film, the native of Guruvayoor had to seek permission to shoot at the Sivagiri Mathom, the final resting place of the social reformer. But these challenges were small, he says, as his mission was to bring Malayalam cinema to the world through a record-breaking fete. “I wanted Sree Narayana Guru’s messages and teachings to be spread around the world. Getting a mention in the record books was the best way to make the film known,” he said.
The process right from scripting began on December 27 night. The film was shot, edited and finally screened within two days. According to the filmmaker, the scripting, which was done by Bharat Bhavan member secretary Pramod Payyannur, took around three hours after which the shooting and other post production works proceeded.
Asia Book of Records
“While a three-member team from the Asia Book of Records was present from the moment of scripting, two cameras were switched on as per the guidelines sent by the Guinness Book of Records team, which were switched off only after the screening of the film. According to their guidelines, the film should be no less than 75 minutes. The Asian record team gave us the certificate after the screening. The recording has been sent to the Guinness team and we are waiting for the results.” Speaking about the challenges, he says, “It is not easy to get a film shot and censored within such a short span of time. However, the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce was very supportive of the venture.”
The filmmaker states that his team has already been invited to screen the film in different venues including Mumbai and London. Though this is his first directorial venture, Vijeesh is not new to the world of films. He has produced films including Pedithondan, Bhagavan among others.
Vijeesh, who is also an organic farmer, says, “While there have been many films made in the past on the social reformer’s life, ‘Viswaguru’ stands apart for featuring his legends without him featuring in the central role. The director plans to make more movies which spread a good message and speak of tradition and culture.