KOCHI: On the sets of an Amal Neerad film in Kottayam, actor/director Dileesh Pothan watched the live telecast of the National Film Awards announcement on his mobile phone.
His film ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’ won for Best Malayalam Film, Best Supporting Actor (Fahadh Faasil) and Best Screenplay (Sajeev Pazhoor) awards.“I knew my film was up for awards in a few categories, but who can predict the result?” he said, by phone from Kottayam. “So, it was nice to know it had won so many.”
But Pothan was taken aback when jury chairman and acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur spoke at length about his film. “It’s a brilliant film, it’s a beautiful film and brilliant performances, and not only that, it starts you thinking the film is about something… a simple film,” said Kapur.
A moved Pothan said, “I am just two movies old. And to think that an eminent filmmaker like Shekhar Kapur spoke so much about my film, it was an enormous confidence-booster. It is also a great inspiration. And I will try my best to make my next film better than ‘Thondimuthalum’.”
In fact, Pothan has already started work on the draft of a script. “My method is that when I hear a story and if I like it, then I work closely with the scriptwriter - in this case, it is Syam Pushkaran - to develop it till it reaches a stage where I am satisfied with it,” said Pothan. “This takes about a year. So, I am hoping to start shooting in 2019.”
Meanwhile, not many people will remember that Pothan’s previous film ‘Maheshinte Prathikaaram’ (2016) also won the Best Feature Film in Malayalam and Best Original Screenplay accolades at last year’s National Film Awards.
And not many will know that soon after ‘Thondimuthalum’ was released last year, on June 30, Pothan received a WhatsApp message, which was forwarded by Faasil.
The message read: “Please congratulate the director for me. Wonderful to see such talent flourishing.” The sender was none other than another critically acclaimed director, Mani Ratnam.Dileesh Pothan, take a bow!