THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When people are busy altering paddy fields into concrete buildings and finding happiness within the four walls, the students of Christ Nagar School bring the message of awakening the bonds between man and nature. Nikhil Banerjee and team, students of class 10, found time amidst their preparation for board exams to share the message of going green through the short film ‘Pachathuruthukal’.
“The film is about the gap existing between man and nature. Once, farms and animals were part of our lives, but now all are out to exploit nature,” says Nikhil. ‘Pachathuruthukal’ is a 21-minute short film revolving around a teacher, student and a widowed mother. “A similar script had been prepared three years back, but the duration was as little as five minutes and so later we developed it into a full-fledged short film,” says Nikhil.
The film has three characters - Aardra of class six has played the role of ‘Bhuvana’ a school girl, school teachers Preena and Sapna have played the roles of Bhuvana’s teacher and mother respectively. The mother, a widower, works in the paddy fields for a living. She is the only earning member of the family. One day Bhuvana has a painting competition to participate in and her mother is unable to accompany her to the school. Bhuvana’s teacher takes the initiative and gets her in time for the competition. There, she paints a paddy field with women working in it. She chose this subject as she sees her mother work there all day. Meanwhile the other participants painted rockets, flats and other paintings on fast life.
Bhuvana wins the competition. She receives the prize from Fr Kurien, the chief guest, played by the principal of Christ Nagar School. The chief guest, after announcing the results, compares the painting of Bhuvana with that of others and conveys the message of treasuring the vanishing greenery.
“As we are leaving school this year, we wanted to contribute something to the school and at the same time it had to be something memorable. That is how we ended up doing this short film. Our Malayalam teacher Preena asked us to do a documentary on nature. Later, we worked on the topic in the form of a short film,” says Nikhil. Nikhil and his circle of friends were always keen on trying their hands at film making. Schoolmates Anjana and Mehndi extended all help throughout. The film making team had eight of them in all. Screenplay and direction was by Nikhil Banerjee, dialogues and story by Anjana and camera by Thomas Poovattil.
‘Pachathuruthukal’ had its shooting at Vejaramoodu, Vellayambalam and Christ Nagar School. The paddy field scene was shot at Vejaramoodu on the lands of Gopalakrishnan. “On reaching the place we needed more supporting artists to pose in the paddy fields. The villagers were so cooperative. They happily got into the muddy soil for us,” says Nikhil.
The making of this short film took them two weeks. The video was released on February 26 this year and can be viewed on youtube and facebook. The total expense of making the film came up to ` 6000, most of which was met by the school.