Bengaluru-based filmmaker Kavya Prakash won the prestigious National Award for her debut feature film
Bengaluru-based filmmaker Kavya Prakash is ecstatic after winning the prestigious National Award for her debut Malayalam feature film 'Vaaku'. Her film won the special jury mention in the feature film category at the 68th National Film Awards.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling because it was totally unexpected. That said, I'm feeling very happy and grateful to the jury and the almighty,” says Kavya, who started her directorial journey a couple of years ago with ad films. “It then that I met my writer. I heard the story and immediately realised that this is the film I want to make,” she notes.
Based on a short story from acclaimed writer Unni R’s eponymous collection of short stories, Vaanku tells the story of Raziya who tries to find her voice as part of her spiritual quest. With a screenplay by Bharatanatyam dancer Shabna Mohammed, the film stars teenager Anaswara Rajan in the lead.
Talking about the film, she adds, “The film is the story of a girl who grows up in a conservative town in Kerala and is from the Islamic community. It deals with four girls who are about to graduate from college. When their teacher prompts them to share their wishes that they want to fulfill before their graduation, the protagonist says her wish is to recite the call to prayer - the adhan in the mosque - which is something women aren’t allowed to do. The film is about what happens when people find out about this, whether she does it, and the consequences she faces.”
Did she face any backlash while dealing with such a sensitive topic? Kavya says that surprisingly, there weren’t any. “We were very careful how we treated the subject in the film. We were particular that it shouldn't hurt any community's sentiments or anybody’s feelings. We worked on the script for almost two years and carefully handled it the best way possible,” she says.
Kavya has a couple of projects in the pipeline, including a Kannada feature. “Pretty soon there will be an announcement,” she offers.
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