December opened with a happy note for Sophia Paul. Two films from her stable - Kaadu Pookkunna Neram and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol - are generating quite a buzz in industry circuits. While the first made it to the prestigious International Competition category at IFFK, the second is a superstar outing, the most-awaited Christmas release this year.
“I am here because cinema is my passion. For me production is not just about bankrolling, I am involved in each and every stage of the process. Title, cast, design - the creative team consult me before locking all that. I don’t simply sign the cheque and then step back,” says the producer.
Sophia ventured into the scene with Bangalore Days and now Weekend Blockbusters, her production company, is turning into one of the most popular banners in Malayalam.
“Friends from the industry ask me why I listen to every project that comes my way. Then I was advised not to produce Kaadu Pookkunna Neram because of its art-house texture.
But I have my own rules, as producer I am accessible to all aspiring filmmakers. Dr Biju had an excellent script and I hardly had any confusion funding it. If you are genuinely in love with films, you will not limit yourself to compartments like mainstream or offbeat,” she says.
An entrepreneur based in Dubai, her days in Kerala are filled with meetings and film projects. “Whenever I am in Kerala I listen to a handful of scripts. But before taking up a project all five members in my family go through the script and discuss various angles.”
Once a project is on Sophia makes sure that she visits the location every other day. “The location of Kaadu Pookkunna Neram was in deep forest and I stayed with the team there. It was quite an experience and the crew members were actually surprised to find me there everyday,” she adds.