THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Manvettam rekindled the long-lost euphoria of living close to nature by asking its audience a single question, what is the scent of soil?
Directed by Hari Rajakkadu, the short film received great appreciation at the International Children's Film Festival of Kerala (ICFFK) screening at Sree theatre here. ''What wrong has nature done for us to inflict such punishment on it?'' asks Hari. ''The film emphasises the need to pay more attention to and care for the environment around us.''
The story unravels from the quest of a troubled teacher to find an answer to a question posed by one of his students: Does soil have a scent? If it does, what is it? ''It is hard to convince adults to mend their ways. However, children can easily be guided in the right direction with an attention-grabbing medium like film,'' said Hari, while answering a question about the responsibility of films in educating children.
Despite having won the Kerala State Television Award for the Best Short Film for Children, the film hadn't received much attention from film lovers. ''After running the film in mini-screens and school auditoriums, I am happy ICFFK has given this value-filled movie a leverage,'' said the director.
Hari has directed several other short films prior to Manvettam. In 2003, Kairali TV featured one of his works Belikakkakal. He has also held the post of promo editor for Asianet News for over 17 years.
''It was a very good movie which highlighted the need to conserve what is left of our environment,'' said Aravind R, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom. He had come with his classmates for the screening of Manvettam and three other short films, Prakasham Parathunna Penkutti, Our Language and Do or Die. ''The question about the scent of soil really drove home the message the film intended to convey,'' he said.