THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Show business may be witnessing a slump during the pandemic-induced lockdown, but a young debut filmmaker from Kerala is on cloud nine after his feature film was chosen to premiere at the prestigious 73rd Cannes Film Festival, which is scheduled to be held soon.Filmmaker Atmabodh’s 72-minute independent feature film ‘My Lucky Number is Black’ has been chosen for screening at the Marche du Film, Cannes, the world’s biggest film festival. The film features six characters who take the audience through their abused, abandoned and isolated childhood that threw their lives out of gear. The film discusses several social issues, including rape, abuse, terrorism and communal riots.
The movie which was shot in the forest range of Thiruvananthapuram was made with a budget of Rs 10 lakh.
“Every person part of this movie made their debut. We had always planned to premiere the film at Cannes. We were disappointed when the festival got postponed following the Covid-19 outbreak. We had only 20 crew members — now the government is insisting on making films with a limited number of crew members — which we did successfully even before Covid-19,” says Atmabodh, who was also the cinematographer of the film.
“This is a low-cost film and we completed shooting in just 10 days despite the adverse climate. The entire shoot was done after dawn as the film’s storyline revolves around a single night,” says Atmabodh. The six protagonists were played by Pournami, Divyadas, Anil Kumar, Karthi Sreekumar, Arun Bhaskaran and Rajaram Varma. The feature film was produced by Anil Kumar L under the banner of Lalithambika Productions and was edited by debutant Shamal Chacko. Sync sound and sound design were done by Jishnu Dev and Rakesh Janardhanan. The movie has been registered for six other film festivals.
For Atmabodh, his journey as an independent filmmaker was filled with challenges. He started off as a freelance photographer back in 2000 and developed his interest in cinematography. He made short films, documentaries and music videos. Eventually, he directed a short film ‘Vrikshartha - the Meaning of a Tree’, which shot him to fame and created his identity as an independent filmmaker.
“This is my first full-length feature film. I come from a middle-class family with no film background. Without a mentor or godfather, it is really tough to make an identity for yourself as a filmmaker. I had knocked on several doors to make my project a reality as most production companies look for proven and experienced filmmakers. The short films helped me make a niche for myself and made this film into a reality,” says Atmabodh. According to him, independent film making is very personal and cannot be pursued without dream and passion. “A filmmaker has to survive intense insecurities as one has to keep going without huge expectations,” he adds.