Express News Service
The concept of personal space is still an enigma in many Indian families. This is what Sharan Venugopal’s Oru Paathiraa Swapnam Pole explores. “I was always intrigued by the idea of personal space and I believe that every adult should have that space,” asserts the filmmaker.
The 37-minute film, which got released on YouTube recently, was shot just before the pandemic in February 2019. It went on to be screened at many international film festivals, including IFFI, IDSFFK, and eventually won the award for the Best Film on Family Values at the 67th National Film Awards.
Oru Paathiraa Swapnam Pole is the film diploma of Sharan, who holds a Masters in Direction and Scriptwriting from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. “The budget is minuscule as compared to a feature film but that’s the challenge,” says the 29-year-old as he recalls shooting long hours for eight days to complete the project.
Oru Pathiraa Swapnam Pole, set in a serene Fort Kochi, revolves around a family of three—Sudha, her teenage daughter, Theertha, and her politician husband, Wahab. Sharan adapted the film from Susmesh Chandroth’s short story, Vaibhavam.
“It took me seven months to write the script. It was challenging because the original story is mostly about the thoughts of the mother character. It is easier to convey such complexities in literature, where you can just mention that “she thinks” or “she feels” but it isn’t so while translating it onto the screen. It took me some time to crack it from a screenwriting perspective.”
Oru Pathiraa Swapnam Pole revolves around Sudha (Nadiya Moidu) who accidentally finds a nude selfie video of her daughter Theertha (Garrgi Ananthan). The short film explores themes like personal space and parenting. The title, which translates to ‘Like A Midnight Dream’, itself is a metaphor.
“Midnight dreams aren’t usually pleasant and it ends up interrupting our sleep. Sudha’s internal conflict is one such episode”, says Sharan, adding that he had Nadiya in mind right from the time he started working on the script.
Though he was initially hesitant to approach her, the veteran was more than willing to be part of the project after hearing the script. “Since Nadiya Ma’am is a mother of two daughters, she could have related to Sudha’s predicament and what the film was trying to communicate.”
Thrilled with the response he has been getting for the film, Sharan is particularly excited about the appreciation from legendary filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. “After the screening at IFFI, I had felt the film to Adoor sir and he had nice things to say about how the subject was handled. I have seen some of my other works also. Validation from someone like him, who is like an idol for students at the institute, was such a booster.”
Sharan is currently on the pre-production works of his maiden feature film, which incidentally is also a family drama. “I’ve been toying around with the script for almost three years now. Some of my seniors from the institute are also part of the team and we’re hoping to finalize the cast and get to production this year itself,” signs off Sharan.