Moving the Masses

‘Oraalppokkam’ penned and directed by Sanalkumar Sasidharan is the first online crowd-funded film in Malayalam.

Published: 14th November 2013 11:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2013 11:53 AM   |  A+A-


Moving against the tide requires an extra bone. While some experiments that kept off the conventional path of film making in the Malayalam movie land sunk into oblivion, some others are remembered even today. The people’s cinema movement - a collaborative effort of funding a film by the public and thus acting as an empowering and liberating medium - by legendary film maker John Abraham was one such a valiant move.

After almost three decades, the crowd-funded feature filmmaking is back in Mollywood. ‘Oraalppokkam’ penned and directed by Sanalkumar Sasidharan is the first online crowd-funded film in Malayalam. The movie features Prakash Bare and poet-activist Meena Kandasamy in the lead. Sanalkumar has directed three short films, Wonder World, Parole and Frog, that won the state television award for best telefilm.

The storyline of the movie revolves round an honest man-woman relationship which will be shot in Kedarnath and Kerala. With dialogue in Tamil, English, Hindi and Malayalam, the picturisation of the movie is set to commence soon and slated to be completed in five months.

“It is a collective effort to create a Malayalam movie with a global outlook. Denying the popular concept that a film is a medium to narrate stories, we try to explore the possibilities of the medium’s capabilities of giving a poetic and magical experience to viewers. The novelty of the idea attracted me towards this film,” says Prakash Bare.

Meena Kandasamy, who is facing the movie camera for the first time said that the script attracted her towards the movie.

“I have friends who are movie makers. They often urge me to look into the scripts and do something for the movies. But the movies are often formula-based, with five songs and three stunts format. But such films limit your actual creativity as you are forced to think within frames. In the popular way of filmmaking also larger corporates draw the line and we are told to make a creative product within the stipulated limits,” Meena says.

But the path chosen by ‘Oraalppokkam’ is different and the charm of the script attracted me to be a part of the movie, she said.

“The short movie ‘Frog’ by Sanalkumar Sasidharan was very impressive. I thought the movie can even be translated into a poem. That was the beauty of the film. Which also touched me a lot,” Meena adds.

The film is made by Kazhcha Film Forum in association with Springr, a crowd funding platform and community-building tool for creative projects and ideas. Kazhcha Film Forum is a film society in Thiruvananthapuram launched a decade ago. Three short films, The Wonder World, Parole  and Frog, were produced under the banner of Kazhcha.

The funding platform is open for contributions. Budgeted at Rs 30 to Rs 35 lakh, the investors of the movie will get returns as DVDs and rights for online distribution.


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