THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Every film release is a matter of joy for its cast and crew as it marks the fulfillment of their efforts, laced with some expectations. When debutante director Anil Thomas’s ‘Crime Story’ is released on February 24, there is something else to be rejoiced at.
The film is the get-together of two friends who have been keeping an ever-lit lamp of strong friendship from the very good old days in school. Director Anil Thomas and cinematographer Kamal Kannan were classmates in the early 80s at St.Joseph’s Boys Higher Secondary School at Coonoor near Ooty.
During their school days, they could be spotted in a gang of 13 that was fondly called the ‘spider gang’. Anil, hailing from Erattupetta and Kamal from Madurai were residing in the boarding school at the time. The biggest entertainment they had during their school days was discussing cinema during free hours. “In all those discussions I was the cinematographer and he was the director. Finally it got realised years after leaving school,” Kamal recollects with joy.
“We used to scribble on cupboards and other furniture in the classroom announcing the arrival of ‘films’,” Anil says. Even though they were not sure when the ‘film’ was going to be released exactly, they would declare it as ‘coming soon...’ But most of the times, many of these films were just figments of their imagination and were not even real films. Besides making such ‘announcements’ and holding discussions, they had carried a dream of making a cinema one day.
“In our classroom discussions the ‘spider gang’ always had dreams of making a film. When we met again for an alumni meet in the school in 2009, all of us loved to realise our long cherished dream. Everyone in the team shelled out money for the making of the film,” Kamal says. Initially they had plans of making a bi-lingual movie in Malayalam and Tamil. Owing to the huge investment it demands, they dropped the plan and arrived at making ‘Crime Story.’
Even after leaving school, both held their intense passion, cinema, close to their hearts. Anil pursued his diploma in screenplay writing and direction from Southern Film Institute in the city and Kamal had his diploma in cinematography from Adayar Film Institute.
Anil produced the movie ‘Saphalam’ and Kamal continued his expeditions in Tamil film industry in assistant direction. They met occasionally and maintained friendship through phone calls.
The shooting of their film had begun in August 2011. On the sets, according to Kamal he loved to oblige to the directions from his friend. “While shooting for a movie, director is the king. When minor disturbances popped up once in a while between us, he simply would stay away from the sets for sometime but it never lasted for long,” says Kamal.
The shooting was completed at locations in Koottickal, Erattupetta, Vagamon and the city. The cast includes Vishnupriya and Rahul.