The film is one of the most awaited and big budget films that will hopefully see the light of the day this year. Directed by Advait Chandan, the film stars Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in lead roles. A remake of the 1994 American blockbuster Forrest Gump, the film underwent a series of changes over a period of two decades, with Atul Kulkarni spending the first ten years adapting the script, and another ten years purchasing the remake rights. The film has been filmed in more than 100 Indian locations including Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Punjab, Jaisalmer apart from international location including Turkey. Advait started his career with Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. as the third assistant director and Taare Zameen Par as the assistant production manager. Advait finally made his directorial debut in 2017 with the film Secret Superstar, that went on to become highest-grossing 2017 Hindi film, and the second-highest-grossing Hindi film of all time, and the third-highest-grossing Indian film of all time, behind only Dangal and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
With its unmatched natural beauty, this ‘God’s own Country’ is a God-send for cinema. Be it the Athirapally or Paalaruvi Falls, or the backwaters at Kumarakom and misty tea gardens of Munnar, the state has enough to offer as the perfect backdrop for films that are high on romance
Incentives offered by Kerala
- Fiscal incentive to regional films to full length feature film, children’s films and documentary film produced in Kerala under Film Policy.
- For films produced completely in the state of Kerala utilizing the facilities available with KSFDC (Kerala State Film Development Corporation) quantum of subsidy is as follows:
(i) Feature films – Rs. 5 lakhs
(ii) Children’s films – Rs. 3.75 lakhs
- Films produced (shot, processed, recorded, re-recorded, edited, printed or mastered) in the state of Kerala but not utilizing only the facilities available with the KSFDC and Chithranjali Studio the rates of subsidy admissible are as follows:
(i) Feature films – Rs. 1,87,500
(ii) Children’s films – Rs. 2,50,000
- The state award as best documentary/short films given Rs. 1 lakh as subsidy.
- The national, international award for the best documentary/short films are given Rs. 2 lakhs as subsidy
- The Malayalam Feature produced in Kerala utilizing the entire facilities of Chitranjali Studio may be given Rs. 6 lakhs as subsidy.
- Chitranjali Studio under Kerala State Film Development Corporation with 70 acres of land located primely near Kovalam Beach and other tourist locations. The studio has state of the art pre-production, production and post-production facilities.
- Another film studio is the Kalabhavan Digital Studio, in Thiruvananthapuram, is a division of Chitranjali Studio offering production facilities for TV programs.
- Organisation of film events and festivals like International Film Festival of Kerala, Orma Film Festival and SIGNS Film Festival.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Eravikulam National Park
Valiyaparamba Backwaters, among many others
For More Information Contact
Deepa D Nair IFS, MD, Kerala State Film Development Corporation
State website: https://kerala.gov.in/
Veteran cinematographer and director Shaji N. Karun feels that both cinema and the audience have changed significantly in a way that allows for the achievement of instant success. His new film, Olu (She), a fantasy woven around a gang-rape survivor thrown into the backwaters of Kerala, has been selected as the opening film of the section.
By Saibal Chatterjee
Shaji N. Karun, who earned his spurs lensing the films of celebrated Malyali directors such as G. Aravindan, K.G. George, M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Padmarajan, branched out 30 years ago as an independent director. His first film, Piravi (1988), ranks among the most lauded debuts in the history of Indian cinema. It screened in the 1989 Cannes Film Festival’s Un certain regard section and was a joint winner of a Mention d’honneur – Camera d’Or.
The veteran cinematographer and director who has crafted only six more narrative features since then feels that both cinema and the audience have changed in a way that allows for the achievement of instant success. “Not just filmmakers but all artists of the past had to work over long periods to establish themselves. Today, people are catapulted into the limelight all too quickly and, therefore, the process of forgetting is also very quick,” he says.
Besides the all-conquering Piravi, two other Shaji films – Swaham (1994) and Vanaprastham (1999) – have been in the Cannes official programme. In fact, Swaham remains the last Indian film to play in the Cannes Competition.
With his first film in four years, Olu (She), Shaji is back in the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India.The new film, a fantasy woven around a gang-rape survivor thrown into the backwaters of Kerala, has been selected as the opening film of the section.
Like all his other narrative features, Shaji’s last film Swapaanam (2014), which probed the relationship between a master drummer and a Mohiniyattam danseuse, made it to the Indian Panorama.
Shaji laments that festivals too are becoming “centres of business”. He says: “There was a time when festivals had a vision of the future and therefore selections reflected that farsightedness. Now films are selected for their instant appeal, for what they yield for the moment.”
“Cinema’s roots lie in the realms of fantasy,” he says, citing the 1902 George Melies film, A Trip to the Moon. “Cinema was born because it had the power to dazzle audiences with its scale and spectacle. With Olu, I have sought to return in a way to the origins of cinema.” In his new film, the violated young woman not only survives underwater, she also becomes a muse for an artist struggling for inspiration.
Why has he made only seven films in 30 years? “You must remember that I devote 50 per cent of my time outside my immediate professional work. I’ve am actively connected with running film development bodies, organizing film festivals and other such activities,” he replies.
But Shaji believes that with the rapid technological advances that the world has seen in recent years, the very act of watching cinema has changed. “Technological tools now determine how a film is consumed. The umbilical cord between the filmmaker and the audience, which thrives in a darkened hall where a group watches a film together, has snapped,” he says. “It is now confined largely to personal enjoyment. It is no longer something meant for savouring in a shared space.”
“Today,” says Shaji, “everything in cinema is designed keeping the point of view of the consumer in mind. The primacy of the artist and the storyteller has been severely undermined.” So he believes that the time may have come for the operatic way of mounting films to be brought back not just to cinema but also to other art forms. But cinema, he asserts, must always retain its meditative, philosophical and spiritual qualities. “That is only way the medium can guard against losing its value as a medium of expression and a form of art,” he says.