Open Minds 2016: Soft Power

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan: The Original

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The Malayalam filmmaker has shattered received wisdom and established himself as the new auteur to watch

The award-winning Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is the kind of person parables are written about. He graduated in Zoology and Law, but then in 2001 decided to turn to his abiding passion—filmmaking. He started by making short films such as Athisayalokam (Wonder World), with funds chipped in by a group of local film enthusiasts in Kerala. But it is his maiden feature film Oraalppokkam (Six Feet High), which released late last year, that is creating a buzz and winning awards. Starring poet Meena Kandasamy and Prakash Bare, it was made by a team of rookies and does not woo the audience with technical gimmickry. Crowd-funded by supporters, the simple story of a man and a woman shows the true scope of independent cinema in India. Sasidharan is confident that those who see the movie will remember it for a long time to come. His last movie, Ozhivu Divasathe Kali (An Off-Day Game) shattered the received wisdom of film making and established him as the new auteur to watch.

My films always need to be independent from stardom, pressure of the market and mass hysteria. I wish to make films on all matters that expose the untouched part of our social life. Though I don’t believe in the theory ‘art for the sake of society’, I don’t believe in ‘art for the sake of art’ either

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