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One of the major film events to be featured recently in the kingdom was the premiere of Ramgopal Menon’s Death of So and So in Ashrafs Hall in Hoora…and it was a delightful success.
More than 300 people attended the screening including chief guest, veteran South Indian (Malayalam) actor-director Balachandra Menon.
Balachandra acted in more than 100 movies, wrote scripts and directed 37 feature films. His accolades are far and wide having also received the Padma Shree award which is the fourth highest civilian award in India. His last short film, Mindscape, dealt with the alarming rates of suicides within the expatriate communities in Bahrain. It received Best Film award in ICRF Short Film Festival held in 2018 and was screened at Cineco Oasis Mall in Juffair.
His mystery drama, Death of So and So, was completely shot in Bahrain, written and directed by the Bahrain based award-winning filmmaker. The film is produced under the banner of Nattukoottam – a film production owned by Ramgopal, George Tharakan, Haridas and Prashanth, which have produced four shorts. It has been selected to participate in Kochi Metro Film Festival to be held in Dubai under the patronage of South Indian film star Mohanlal.
Ramgopal, general manager of Kanoo Information Technology, said: “This is my fourth short film fully shot in Bahrain. Since the film has been invited to participate in Kochi Metro film festival in Dubai, which is a GCC level competition, I thought of doing a different subject – away from the usual themes handle Indian Diasporas common issues. I decided to change the track and make a mystery drama this time depicting the death of a person and how his kith and kin oversee the death of someone. I tried to showcase a drama revolves around the deceased with an unexpected climax that is very unusual and thought-provoking to audience.”
According to Ramgopal, A Death of So and So has a very uncommon subject to make a film out of. The form and overall presentation go hand-in-hand with the hefty content. It’s a well-crafted film that looks professional too. He added: “All the artists, technicians – cinematographer and back-ground scorer did an amazing job.”
Aside from being featured at the Kochi Metro Film Festival, the normal route of a short film leads to it being screened at film festivals.
“We have plans to enter into major international festivals since the movie is in English”, said Ramgopal. He also believes the film will be well accepted in India and Bahrain as it’s an Indo- Bahraini team up. All artists are Indians living in the kingdom and the cinematographer and sound recorders are Bahrainis.
While speaking about his inspirations to start making films and form a filmmaking team in Bahrain, he said: “I am passionate about films and a serious movie buff. I attend every Wednesday movie screenings in Bahrain Cinema Club Juffair to interact with international movie lovers and watch quality offbeat films made globally which is otherwise impossible to watch in theatre or other channels. Moreover I have great movie enthusiastic friends join me and support me in productions. I have a big dream of making a feature film shot in Bahrain and to release it widely. My other dream is to make an Arabic film in Bahrain from a non-Arabic perspective.”
Ramgopal believes that Bahrain is the ideal place for developing creativity. He added: “You’ll easily find likeminded talents ready to spend their time and resources to follow their passion but I feel that is not sufficient. The way Bahrain encourages different art forms, the kingdom should also promote local and expatriate talents to get into films by establishing a full-fledged film industry–film production houses, studios, technical labs and marketing avenues and financial assistance for making and promoting “Made in Bahrain” films. This will open opportunities to develop the entertainment industry and take it to the next level. That will contribute heavily to Bahrain’s economy in the future.”