THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is a quest to find the self, one that unfolds in 24 days. Stephen is on his dream ride, participating in the Great Himalayan Rally. But the ride turns pivotal for him, one where he finally finds himself. Christened ‘24 Days’, the feature film - crafted by the Merchant Navy officers Sreekanth E G and Adith U S - speaks volumes about the internal quest to find oneself. “It is not a biker movie but is about travel, one where the lead actor undergoes a soul-altering change. The movie is told through the character’s perspective.
The movie is on how the character embarks on a journey for 24 days and the way it helps him find himself,” says director Sreekanth. Fashioned out by a fresh crew and featuring an all-new cast, 24 Days has created enough ripples in the movie milieu. It was one among the final shortlisted movies that competed in the Kerala State Film Awards. The film also fetched them an international award with it garnering the award at the Switzerland International Film Festival. “Those were poignant moments for us, as it reinforced hope in us,” says Sreekanth.
The movie is produced by Adith and he dons the lead character Stephen. The crew comprises Pradeep Shankar (editing), Jagath Chandran (art direction), Shankerdas V C (sound design), and Vishnu Shyam (background score). The music is by Seven Clouds. For the two friends Sreekanth and Adith who met during their college days while doing their degree in Nautical Science, the dream always revolved around making movies. It was pure passion towards movies that drove them, and which made them craft one short film after the other.
Even while at college the duo had crafted short films that won awards at college-level competitions. ‘Black Friday’ was one crafted using a camera phone, followed by ‘Will you be Me’. The next was ‘I’m Flying’, an experimental one that had sparse dialogues. “That was an experimental move, to make a short which had only a few dialogues. And it was well received. The movie got selected to the Manchester Children’s Film Festival in the innovative film category,” recalls Sreekanth.
And then came ‘24 Days’ in 2018. With 24 Days, a 90-minute feature film, the duo realised a dream which they kept alive while they learnt about nautical navigation and also while sailing together. The genesis of ‘24 Days’ was during a conversation that transpired between Sreekanth and his wife Uma. “She narrated a story she had read. It struck a chord and we developed on that,” says Sreekanth. “There is a point when the character goes blind. At that time we gave much focus to the sound design, even minute aspects were given due stress,” he says.
The film was crowd-funded by the team and their friends. “It was difficult to get producers with all of us being newbies. So we launched our own production company ‘Let Go Productions’, a crowdfunding initiative. ‘Let Go’ is terminology we use, while we drop the anchor, pointing to the right time to drop the anchor. It is the command that the captain gives,” smiles Sreekanth. The team intends to send the movie to festivals and release it on OTT platforms.