The Life of a Legend Through the Craft of an Artist

The Life of a Legend Through the Craft of an Artist

  • 24 Oct 2015
  • Maria John
  • Features

Soumya’s documentary on Chembai has people take notice of her skill
Text: Avinash yatheendran

Going beyond her image of a TV show anchor and actress, Soumya Sadanandan, lovingly called Sou, stepped into the shoes of a director with her debut documentary about Chembai, one of the masters of Karnatic music.Soumya, who is ardently in love with cinema, documents the travel of a girl to Chembai's village in search of the legend’s life and music. The documentary has been getting appreciation among the critics and film lovers. 
1. Being a youngster, documenting the life and music of a person like Chembai is not that easy. What appealed you to take on this subject?Dr.K.J.Yesudas was an inspiration for me from my childhood, and attending live concerts of Das sir was my dream. Chembai was one of Das sir's inspirations and that piqued my curiosity. I wanted to find out more. The documentary has now become a dream come true.
2. The style or the way you attempted the movie is something different. It has got an emotional attachment, far from the conventional documentary making. Was that intentional?I believe whatever we do should have an emotional attachment which will make it complete.
3. The journey starts as a trip to watch your favorite singer, Yesudas. Then goes further and gets in to his Guru’s life and history. How have these two legends inspired you?Both of them inspire me, but behind that the realization that we had a legend in music and the people around me are unaware of him (Chembai) inspires me in a different way. Chembai was a light or rather an eye opening bliss, which came to me in my journey. 
4.  You are an anchor, actress, now turned director. Do you have any further plans to step into the mainstream industry with a director’s hat on your head?Yes I do have plans with a couple of stories handy and when the right time comes I believe it will happen. 
5. You have got a great crew of young people to accompany you in the making of this documentary. What was the energy level and how has it reflected in your final product?I believe in team a work. When you have right people with you, you don’t have to be concerned about the energy level. It will reflect on your work.  
6. Who is your favorite male and female director? And how do you react to the opinion that women are still stuck behind the screen in directorial streams?I’ll stay diplomatic on my favorite director, since there are lot. I think the industry has changed a lot; we have women behind screen, in direction, cinematography, editing, music, and so on. 
7. Where can the audience watch the documentary Chembai?We are already done with a screening in Kochi and Trivandrum. And we are planning to screen the documentary in Kochi, Thrissur and Calicut, probably in November. 

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