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ANJITH MERRIE JAN




FILLUM-O-GRAPH


A former advertising copywriter and an anchor in a Malayalam television channel, Anjith is originally a sound engineer who is now an aspiring script writer and director based in Kochi, Kerala. This is his first independent work as a script writer and director.


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Anjith Merrie Jan – Interview

Anjith Merrie Jan is a brilliant director who gave life to his six year old story, just because it had to be told. It deals with a crisis that many face and he has beautifully depicted it in his debut film Identiti. The promising director talks about his film, dreams and much more…

The film has an emotional concept that is touching. How did this story come to life?

The idea struck me eight years ago when I was in college. Six years ago I tried making it and it did not happen. It is partially based on some real incidents and a news that I read back then. I wanted to emphasise on how people faked themselves on social media and its repercussions.

Tell us about your journey into short films?

I am an audio engineer. After college I wanted to go to Film Institute, Pune.  Film making started as a hobby. I have worked as a copywriter and anchor. Then the idea of film making started getting intense. Meanwhile I went on a vacation and came back and started working full time on films.

What roadblocks did you face, when you were starting out?

Finding a perfect lead was the biggest roadblock for me. Secondly there were severe budget issues as well.

We see that your short film is on par with a feature film. How did you envision the same?

I have watched many films and have emulated the techniques of filmmaking. Youtube was my first teacher. Many people from the industry and my professors have mentored me. I just wanted to love my film, the way I would expect the audience to love it. That thought helped me a lot.

Have you drawn inspiration from real people for characterization in the film?

I cannot really point out at a particular case. The story is definitely inspired by many cases. Also a report in the newspaper about fake profiles on social media boosted by story. I merged the two and that’s how I could shape this story.

Tell us about your lead cast and technical team?

Finding the leading lady was a huge task. Many times I was not convinced, also I could not hire someone who knows the game as remuneration was an issue. But when I narrated this story to Archana she agreed immediately. More importantly she said that she can see herself in that character. This convinced me. Also I had an experienced and the best crew a new filmmaker could get. I am really thankful for that.

This film has some soul stirring music which is the highlight of the film. Tell us more about how it has enhanced your film?

Music is the soul of my film. Simon George scored the music and he gave two themes. One is dark and the other bright. Sometimes silence was the music. He has done an amazing job.

What does the future hold for you? More short films or feature film opportunities in the anvil?

I am looking at doing a feature film next. It is in the scripting stage. Also I am writing a script for my friend as well. I have so many ideas in my head. My next short film was to be Bhami. Everything was going well and this Covid issue happened. I also plan to venture into digital platforms.

Which film-maker has been a strong influence on you and your style of film making?

Every movie that I have seen has been a learning experience. It has given me something or the other. So I would say that I have learnt from many filmmakers.

If you got the opportunity to remake a classic, which one would that be?

Classics should not be remade. It should remain as it is. Also I do not want to be killed. (laughs)

Why Fillum?

Fillum is doing an amazing job. They are not just highlighting the film but also the crew. My film is what it is because of the crew. They have put in limitless efforts here. I am thankful for the recognition that they will get through Fillum.