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Malayalam film industry is superstitious, says director

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 24 (IANS) The Malayalam film industry is highly superstitious and also lacks transparency, cinematographer-turned-film director Amal Neerad, who is famous for casting superstars and using advanced technology in his films, said Sund

2010-10-24T16:39:00Z

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 24 (IANS) The Malayalam film industry is highly superstitious and also lacks transparency, cinematographer-turned-film director Amal Neerad, who is famous for casting superstars and using advanced technology in his films, said Sunday.

Neerad told reporters after a special screening of his latest blockbuster 'Anwar' that there is an unwritten rule in the industry that the success of a film depends on the type of camera, the cameraman and who the heroine is.

'When I was the cameraman of a film, the people behind the film were adamant that they use a particular type of camera. But when I looked through the lens, I could not see anything. Only after a lot of persuasion the camera was changed,' he said.

'There is also an unwritten rule, it seems, that if such and such camera person is there the film will be successful. I will not name the heroines who are considered as 'lucky charm' for a film's success, but this is the truth,' said Neerad, who is in his mid-30s.

'Anwar', starring Prithviraj and Mamata Mohandas, was released last week and is running in around 125 centres across the state and in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

'This film, made at a cost of Rs.4 crore, is doing well at a time when the Rajnikanth-starrer 'Enthiran' is also running,' said Neerad, who began his career as a cameraman in the 2004 film 'Black', directed by Renjith.

After his film studies, Neerad got a scholarship for higher studies in film-making in Berlin and then returned to make a living in the industry here as a cameraman, but despite doing several documentaries he had to beat a hasty retreat.

'I had to leave Kerala and worked as a cameraman in Bollywood for three years before returning in 2007 to direct my first film 'Big B', starring Mammootty. The industry here, for some strange reason, is not friendly to new people,' he said.

On the lack of transparency in the industry with regards to the financial aspect of film-making, Neerad said Bollywood has come of age and there is transparency in all financial deals, unlike in the Malayalam industry.

'Over the years, we hear that the industry is in crisis and there is no return. I feel it is not true. If proper budgeting is done and the release is planned, the money is there and there would be no loss,' he added.

Neerad's previous films include blockbusters 'Big B' and 'Sagar Alias Jacky' with Mohanlal.

'My next film will have new faces to break the notion that I do only big ones. It would be technologically superior,' said the filmmaker.

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