New gen is reinventing cinema: Actor Raveendran

The Indian film industry is in the cusp of an evolution. The young and new generation filmmakers are probably reinventing cinema and seeking a new idiom for the medium, said South Indian actor Raveendran in a recent interview.

“Today’s cinema has largely become more realistic in which melodramatic acting or rhetoric find little room. In a way, you are holding ‘a mirror up to the society’. Actors would be behaving rather than acting,” he said explaining the emerging trends in the South Indian cinema. Raveendran, also known as Ravindher is a versatile actor and is popular in South Indian film industry.

Interestingly, these new gen films enjoy a better rapport among the audience than the big-budget film productions, he said citing the phenomenal successes of Malayalam movies like ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum,’ ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ or ‘Kumbalangi Nights.’ “The story maybe something very common that could happen in your neighborhood and characters and actors you could meet up next door. Because, audiences are fed up with the melodrama flicks and larger-than-life-size characters in the films,” he said.

Raveendran

Raveendran did some memorable roles along with leading film stars in South Indian film Industry before he took a sabbatical from cinema. His debutante Tamil film Oru Thalai Ragam was a big hit confirming his stature as a promising actor in the Tamil film industry. He acted along with Tamil heroes like Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth in several blockbusters like Sagalakala Vallavan, Per Sollum Pillai, Ram Lakshman, Ranga, Thankamagan and Pokkiri Raja.

Raveendran joined Malayalam film industry subsequently, acting predominantly in I V Sasi hits like Aswaratham, Ee Nadu, John Jaffer Janardhan, Innalengil Nale, Sindhoora Sandhyakku Mounam, Iniyengilum, Athiratram, Idanilangal, Karimbinpoovinakkare, Rangam and Abhayam Thedi etc.

“I left cinema at the peak of my acting career to focus on my family business and to learn architecture. But later, I realized a need to launch cinema literacy programs in Kerala,” Raveendran recalled. He took some painstaking efforts to build a film appreciation culture in Kerala and organized several short film festivals to create awareness about good cinema. Raveendran is the founder and festival director of Kochi International Film Festival, Monsoon Cinefest and Peace International.

Interactive platform
Kochi Metro Short Film Fest (KMSFF) Middle East is his brain child which he founded to create an interactive platform for directors, producers, debutante film makers, technicians and actors in the Middle East. It was formed in 2014 with renowned Indian actor Padmabhooshan Mohanlal as its chairman and Raveendran as its Festival Director and CEO. Its chapters have been formed in Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, he informed.

“Kochi Metro is expanding into Kuwait. And I have initiated talks with film enthusiasts in Kuwait to explore the possibility of forming a chapter of KMSFF in Kuwait,” he said. Raveendran held workshops for filmmakers from Kuwait who participated in the KMSFF short film festival that was held in Bahrain.

“At Kochi Metro, we are providing a creative platform for aspiring expat film-makers. Kochi Metro Short Film Fest (Middle East) is an innovative platform for creative minds. In addition to the film festivals we hold at regular intervals at different locations in the GCC, we nurture budding expat talents, train them both academically and technically in order to mold them into good film-makers,” he explained. The festival will also provide emerging film professionals an opportunity to create a network for promoting friendship and cooperation among themselves from all around the GCC.

In Kuwait, Raveendran held film workshops for a group of film enthusiasts offering them hands-on experience in film-making and post-production works such as scripting, film-shooting and editing etc. Workshops were held in Salmiya and Kabd areas and the attendees were split into three different teams. Under his guidance, the teams shot four short films over a period of three days.

By Sajeev K Peter