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Home»Interview»Exclusive! Senna Hegde: Be it a mainstream or an off-beat movie, I will only make films I am comfortable with»

Exclusive! Senna Hegde: Be it a mainstream or an off-beat movie, I will only make films I am comfortable with

The National Award-winning filmmaker talks about his upcoming films - the spin-off of Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, Sharafudheen’s 1744 White Alto and Kunchacko Boban’s Padmini

  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 09.41 AM, Aug 03, 2022

Exclusive! Senna Hegde: Be it a mainstream or an off-beat movie, I will only make films I am comfortable with
Senna Hegde

Director Senna Hegde joins a select list of filmmakers to have won both the Kerala State and National Film awards for a direct-to-OTT release with his movie Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam. The movie, which is his second Malayalam venture after the docu-drama 0-41, was among the most hailed films last year – both by critics and the audience, and the awards are further proof.

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the filmmaker says that he wasn’t expecting either of the awards of his film and the idea from the start was to make a movie that he believed in. Ask him if the laurels further encouraged him to go ahead with his way of filmmaking and he says, “Yes, definitely. That’s never going to change; whether I make a commercial film or an off-beat movie, at the end of the day, I am only going to make a movie that I am comfortable with. That’s the key for me. Luckily that was there while making Thinkalazchcha Nishchayam and the audience too appreciated the film.”

The movie, which is streaming on Sony LIV, will also be getting a spin-off next year, he confirms. “It was always in the pipeline. When Sreeraj (Raveendran) and I were writing the film and developing certain characters, we thought there was a potential for a spin-off. But we only wanted to do it if the script comes together the way we want it. Last week, we decided that we should go ahead next year after my current commitments,” he says.

Further on the spin-off, the filmmaker, who had also helmed the Kannada film Katheyondu Shuruvagide, says, “It will be based in Kanhangad but only few characters from the original will be there. The story will go on a different path and will have a lot of new characters. This will have wedding as the focus but I can’t reveal whose it will be.”

Seena’s next projects include Sharafudheen and Vincy Aloshius’ 1744 White Alto and Kunchacko Boban’s Padmini. He had completed the shooting of the former earlier this year. The first trailer of the movie also revealed a Western feel. “It has a Western look but it’s a ‘naadan’ movie,” clarifies Senna. “It’s a crime comedy with more stress on the comedy portions. We have a lot of different landscape in Kasaragode and Kanhangad that has a mid-Western America look and feel, and haven’t been explored.”

The director says that the team are “on the verge of completion”. “There’s a bit of work left in the technical side. It should be ready by end of August,” he says, adding that the final decision to release it in theatres or an OTT platform will be made by the producers.

Senna has also started pre-production work on Padmini, which is set to go on floors by October this year. “Padmini is like Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam; it’s a comedy drama set against the backdrop of a small town. It is about the struggles that Chackochan’s character goes through at a point in his life,” he says.

Ask him if the awards now also give him the freedom to mount his movies on a bigger scale and he says, “1744 White Alto has a reasonable budget that is much higher than we had for Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam. Padmini, with its star power, is a big project with Kunchacko Boban, Aparna Balamurali and also Jakes Bejoy doing the music. I have known the producers and they are also aware of the way I work. One of the first things I put forth is my criteria and we make sure we agree or at least meet halfway.”