The comedian-turned-character actor Salim Kumar is set to add one more feather to his cap. ‘Pokkali’, a documentary which will focus on the agriculture and the farming scene of Kerala, will see Salim Kumar donning the cap of the director.
Pokkali, a rice variety that is rarely harvested nowadays, was once grown in the coastal areas of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur. And through the documentary the actor-director wants to give a fresh lease of life to pokkali farming. “Now the pokkali harvesting is only seen near Paravur-Vypeen area. The rice variety is good for health as it does not need any kind of pesticides or organic manure,” says Salim Kumar who for the past 14 years have been doing the farming of Pokkali himself. When people in film industry invest on real estates, IT and other businesses, Salim Kumar is setting an example for others by investing on agriculture.
When asked what was the inspiration to make a documentary on pokkali, he says, “I am a farmer and when I searched in the internet about pokkali, I did not see any visual inputs about pokkali farming. Thus I thought a rice so rich needs to be known to the world.” The determination to spread awareness was so deep that, Salim Kumar bought a new camera exclusively to shoot the documentary. “I bought Sony’s camera to shoot the film. As there were difficulties in matching my dates and that of technicians’. Buying a camera and shooting all by myself when I had time was the only option I saw,” says Salim Kumar about his 32-minute long documentary.
This documentary will be an eye opener for our state where IT and Tourism are the only things promoted. What is the use to carry pocketful of money when there is nothing to eat?,” asks Salim Kumar.
The shooting of ‘Pokkali’ which began 11 months back will be released during the second week of next month. The documentary is also the first which comes from the actor-director’s own production house ‘Laughing Villa’.