Director-cinematographer Rajeev Ravi and veteran director-producer Lal Jose have come together to produce and distribute a Malayalam movie, Kismath about a romance between a dalit girl and her Muslim boyfriend. The movie will be directed by Shanavas K Bavakkutty. Actress and TV host Shruthi Menon and young actor Shane Nigam play the lead roles in Kismath. Shruthi plays Anita, a 28-year-old woman belonging to a scheduled caste girl. Anita seeks police protection for herself and her 23-year-old boyfriend Irfan, a B.Tech student, after the society turns against their relationship.
The movie is co-produced by Rajeev Ravi’s production company, Collective Phase One and Shailaja Manikandan, and will be distributed by Lal Jose’s LJ Films.
Kismath is the directorial debut of Shanavas K Bavakkutty, a former politician who has served as the municipal counsellor of Ponnani for around 10 years. The film, which is set in Ponnani – a small town in North Kerala – is based on real incidents that happened there in 2011. “I met a young couple at Ponnani police station one day. The lovers, who were from different religious backgrounds, were seeking police protection from communal forces who had been threatening them. We hardly spoke that day. The incidents that happened in their life later, moved me deeply,” Shanavas told Silverscreen.in.
Shanavas, who has no formal training in film-making, started out as a short filmmaker. He met Rajeev Ravi at the screening of his short film at Vibgyor Film Festival. “It was Rajeev Ravi’s Annayum Rasoolum that inspired me to be a film maker. I met him and narrated the story to him. He readily offered to produce the film under the banner of his Collective Phase One,” said Shanavas.
Shane, who is the son of actor-mimicry artiste Aby, has played important roles in Rajeev Ravi’s Annayum Rasoolum and Kammattipadam. Kismat is Shane’s first film as a lead actor. Shruti Menon debuted as an actress through Ligy J. Pullappally’s critically-acclaimed movie Sancharam, in which she played a teenager who falls in love with her girl friend.
Kismat also stars Vinay Fort, P Balachandran, Alancier and Sajitha Madathil, alongside a number of theatre artistes and first-time actors.
Collective Phase One, a joint initiative of Resul Pookutty, Rajeev Ravi, Madhu Neelakandan, Sunil Babu, B Ajithkumar and Kamal KM, was established with the aim of supporting parallel cinema. The group’s first production was ID, a Hindi film directed by Kamal KM. In 2014, the group produced Njan Steve Lopez, directed by Rajeev Ravi and starring Farhan Fazil, Alancier and Ahaana Krishna.