“It will be a film with thousands of heroes sans heroism,” says filmmaker Santhosh, who has made a movie titled Jallikattu, 5 – 23rd Jan 2017. It is based on on the 2017 uprising by youngsters at Marina beach in Chennai.
Speaking to News Today, Santhosh says, “In history, this is the single largest peaceful, non-political, leaderless movement by youngsters. It needs to be chronicled as a movie.”
Excerpts from his interview:
What inspired you to do a make a movie on this neo-noir plot?
There are a lot of world movies from the past, like Turkish drama Clash, which inspired me to do this movie. But, I borrowed the core idea from Marina beach protest. In the initial days of protest, I was there at Marina when they were demanding to lift the ban on the traditional bull embracing sport. Initially, I was shooting the protest with my camera. Later, when the protest intensified, I immediately thought of making it a documentary. So, we got few other units of camera along with a drone. Most parts of the protest were shot subsequently. Later, we built a story on this protest as background and now it is going to be a full length feature film. The movie basically has five story lines that meet at a single point. We travelled half-way around the globe to Maasai Mara, a tribal village in Africa, and Harvard University in the USA. The back stories of our movie will overlap with each other and connect at the end. Though it has real-time shots of the protest, we have mixed fiction with it to convey a lot about Tamil race.
Is this your maiden venture behind the camera?
Yes. I started my career as an assistant to cinematographer P C Sreeram. Later moved to Hollywood to work as an operative cameraman assisting Academy award winning cinematographer Vilmos Zigmond. Also, I took films like Aadukalam, Visaaranai and Kaakamuttai to various international film festivals through my company. And, of course, Jallikattu, 5 – 23rd Jan 2017 will go places before hitting the screens.
What is Maasai Mara in Africa and how is it connected to Jallikattu?
Maasai Mara is a tribal village in Kenya, where science has estimated the earliest evidences of human mobilisation and cattle breeding. Also, the DNA of Tamil race and the people living in Maasai Mara have a lot of similarities. Surprisingly, the DNAs of the cattle here in Tamilnadu and in Maasai Mara too are so similar. So, that portion of our movie will speak about the historical connect of jallikattu.
Jallikattu protest also has some political connect. Does your movie speak about it?
Yes, this would be a holistic film that speaks about every single aspect of the Marina uprising. A big economic conspiracy is behind the ban on jallikattu, which is being conveyed in the film. It is all about artificial insemination: we have spoken regarding the conspiracy. How the corporates have planned to eradicate the traditional cattle breeds of the Tamil race is detailed in the movie. Almost, 80 per cent of the movie is over, we are now in the final stages of post-production.
Tell us about the cast and crew of the movie?
We chose to go for unknown faces. We thought this would help in conveying what we want to the audience. Cinematography is by S K Bhoopathy, music is by Ramesh Vinayakam, audiography by Udhaykumar and editing by Kasi Vishwanathan. The movie is co-produced by N Jayapal, Guru Saravanan and Ganapathy Murugesh.