KOCHI: Freelance filmmaker Deepti Pillay Sivan’s most touted documentary, Decoding Shankar about the life and career of the celebrated musician Shankar Mahadevan, recently won the Best Film Award in the Documentary section (Best Biographical) at the Toronto International Women Film Festival, 2021. The 52-minute docu-film released a few years ago is a sketch of the life of the prolific musician focusing on how he balances his career as a singer, music composer and teacher. The film gives interesting tidbits about his family life and shares interesting moments about his passion for cooking.
“I feel immensely happy for the achievement we received at the Toronto International Women Film Festival. It was a joyous journey and an honour to interact with the legend Shankar Mahadevan and his family. Getting to learn many facets of his personality and the history behind the legend was an honour. This documentary is very close to my heart, almost like a twin son to me, as coincidently I was eight months pregnant with my third baby when the filming of the documentary kicked off,” the excited director shares.
The documentary has already been screened at various international film festivals like Stuttgart in Germany, Jecheon International Music and Film Festival in South Korea, DC South Asian Film Festival in Madrid, International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa and many international film festivals in USA and Canada.
Deepti, the spouse of renowned filmmaker Sanjeev Sivan, elaborates more on Decoding Shankar, “The film brings out significant moments that shaped his life and musical sensibilities. The story unfolds in his own unique narrative style. The documentary, through anecdotes and personal statements, provides insight into how a creative mind works.”
In the documentary, Mahadevan also decodes melody and the swara of his superhit film songs by explaining how they were created. “I had the honour of interacting with many interesting and well-known personalities, like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan during the making of this documentary. I wanted to document his life and the unknown facts about it so that it can be used as a reference for the upcoming generations,” Deepti says.