Chinmayi Nair, a class 10 student from Chirakkadavu village in Kottayam, is set to direct a feature film starring singer Vijay Yesudas.
To be produced by Sabhu Kuruvila, the untitled film’s script is written by Chinmayi’s father Anil Raj, who is known for directing films like Soothrakkaran and writing the Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer Kangaroo.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Chinmayi says, “My film will be a comedy thriller. The story is set against a school backdrop and also touches upon the socially-relevant issue of drug addiction and how young children fall into that trap.” Despite taking on such a serious topic, the film will be a family entertainer packed with comedy, action and songs, she adds.
On the conception of the story, Chinmayi says, “There was a short film contest for awareness about drug addiction. That’s when I came up with this story that also had the potential for a feature-length film. I took inspiration from my friends’ group and made four school-going girls the pivotal characters. I pitched the one line to my dad. We both wrote the story together and then he penned the script. We are currently are in the final stages of writing.”
Talking about how she developed an interest towards cinema, Chinmayi says it happened after she visited her father’s sets once and fell in love with the filmmaking process. “Since 7th standard, I have been learning various aspects of filmmaking. I assisted my dad on his film Soothrakkaran and also worked on many ad films. Directing a couple of short films gave me the confidence to pull off this feature film,” she adds.
Aside from Vijay Yesudas, the film also stars actors Kalabhavan Shajon, Sudheer, Sajimon Parayil, KPAC Ravi, Meenakshy, Shwetha Menon, Prameela Devi, and dancer Gayathri Vijayalakshmi. In addition, it will also feature several new faces, who were selected through auditions.
Chinmayi notes that she chose Vijay for the lead role, as he has the apt body language and the looks that the character demanded. This film will mark the singer’s acting debut in Malayalam. He was earlier seen in the Dhanush-starrer Maari in 2015.
Chinmayi tells is that they plan to begin filming after she is done with her exams in April. The film will be shot by cinematographer Benny Joseph in her hometown Chirakkadavu as well as her school campus. The technical crew also includes editor Manu Shaju and music composer SR Sooraj.