'Content is the hero in Pathinettam Padi'
Actor and writer Shankar Ramakrishnan talks about his debut directorial venture
He is an artist with a commendable body of work, yet writer and actor Shankar Ramakrishnan decided on a relatively unconventional choice for his directorial debut. For, Pathinettam Padi tells the sensitive tale of a group of adolescents. While many might call it a risk, he'd rather term it 'an opportunity'. "Every film is a risk and, along with it, there is an excitement too. For me, this is an opportunity," he tells us, amidst the workshop he conducts for the new faces.
Shankar, who began his career as a writer with Kerala Cafe (2009), says he brings the focus to a group of 18-year olds in Pathinettam Padi. "This film is about knowledge. The popular devices we employ to educate our children and their effects come under the radar here. The real education happens when they face real-life situations and that's when they acquire life skills. All these sensitive issues find a voice in Pathinettam Padi," he adds.
Is it a coming-of-age film? Shankar says it indeed is, but then there is more to it. Nevertheless, Pathinettam Padi definitely is an entertainer, something everybody can enjoy. "I don't want my film to be something that appeals only a certain section," he adds.
For the last few days, Shankar has been engrossed in conducting art camps, that he expects will benefit the industry as a whole. "The faces we selected are from outside the industry and I am delighted they get to attend these workshops that will benefit them immensely," he says. The latest one had legendary action choreographer Kecha Khamphakdee interacting with the participants.
"Besides his contributions to Pathinettam Padi, I was adamant that the industry itself benefits from someone like Kecha. He is a famous name and his experience will definitely enrich us," he adds.
So, who is the protagonist here? "The content. Of course, there will be a character, but it is the concept that is important. The hero is the concept," Shankar clarifies.
Pathinettam Padi has a bunch of new faces in front and behind the camera. While the fact is that there are few established actors in the industry in that age group, Shankar also wanted to give many aspirants a chance through his debut. "Not just actors, many new faces are there. For instance, Sudeep Elamon, the DOP is a 22-year-old who has made many wildlife films. Their creative contributions are invaluable," says Shankar.