Kavya Prakash’s father is proud as she won the National Award for her debut film

Vaanku

Kavya Prakash won the National Award for her debut film. Kavya Prakash is the daughter of the famous director V.K. Prakash. Vaanku is a film that unexpectedly came to Kavya during her father’s film discussion with Unni R. Kavya received a special jury mention award in the 68th National Award.

Kavya Prakash appears for the first time on the silver screen. Directed by debutant director Kavya Prakash on R. Unni’s short story. Vaanku tells the story of a girl’s ordeal as she pursues a different passion. Born in Kozhikode and brought up in Bengaluru, Kavya shares the details of her debut film with a news channel.

  • Is her father the guru for the film and how much was his involvement?

The father did not intervene at any stage of the film. He hasn’t seen this movie yet. Dad is waiting for the theatrical release. He told me to work hard and do research while making a film. I have two mentors in cinema. Story writer and screenwriter Unni Aram and director of BTech cinema Mridul Nair. I was the assistant director of BTech Cinema.

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  • Vaanku is a much discussed short story by R. Unni- How did it become a movie?
    In one word it can be said because. In 2018, Unni Sir had come to Bengaluru to meet her father to discuss a story. Even though we were seeing each other for the first time, we talked for a long time about many stories. Vaanku was one of them. I had not read the story. When I heard this story, I felt a love and curiosity. I kept asking about this one by one. Unni sir narrates the story and it’s fun to listen to. Sir was also noticing that my facial expression was changing.
  • Did you have the courage to ask if this story will be made into a movie?
    Never. As soon as I heard the story, I felt the desire to make a film, but how can l, a beginner, ask? I was sure that I would not be given such a story. But Unnisar himself realized my eagerness and curiosity towards the story and asked me to made this story into a movie for Kawa. I was only 25 years old. I got the courage to make this film only because of the support given by sir. I see that story as a blessing. It is believed that when the film was made, the story was done justice. Even though the project that Unnisar came to discuss with his father did not happen, the meeting that day was for my first film.
  • Why didn’t Unni himself write the screenplay of the movie?
    In the second meeting, we felt that it would be better if the screenplay was done by a female writer. That is what Shabna Muhammad is called. Shabna has discussed some stories with her father. So that’s a little acquaintance with me. But Shabna had faith in her writing. It was felt that a film with a Muslim girl in the lead role would benefit from a woman from the same community writing the script. Unnisar and I spoke to Shabna in Kochi. In that meeting itself, it was realized that Shabna could contribute well to the story. It was Shabna’s first script too.

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  • Anaswara Rajan is the main character. Who are the other stars?
    The main characters are 4 girls. While writing the script, I wanted to immortalize the role of the central character, Razia. Anaswara was also very excited when the story was told. But when there was a small clash in the matter of dates, Anaswara backed out. With that, Anaswara decided that enough is enough. As luck would have it, Anaswara was in Bengaluru for a shoot and she decided on the matter of date. The other two children are Nandana Verma who acted in Guppy and Gopika Ramesh of Thanneermattan. Meenakshi Unnikrishnan, the fourth girl, was selected through an audition. Also, the film also stars Joy Mathew, Vineeth, Major Ravi, Tesnikhan, and Sarasa Balushery. The scriptwriter Shabna and one of the producers Sirajuddin have acted in it.
  • It is a subject related to religion. Are you afraid of losing your hand?
    Never. The screenplay was completed after a year and a half with so much care. It is certain that no religious sentiments will be hurt because of this. The location is Ponnnai. Before shooting, we stayed there, talked to people, and learned about life there. The film has been completed without challenging any religion.

  • Wasn’t the movie supposed to be released before the lockdown?
    It was scheduled to release last March. It took a year due to covid. In the meantime,  there was a fear that it could be released in theaters. Many movies are not released on OTT platform now. Producers Sirajuddin and Shabbir have assured us that the film will be released in theaters no matter how late it may be. I am very lucky to have producers who have supported me so much in my first film.
  • You were an advertising director. How much benefit did it have in filmmaking?
    Learning to communicate content in a short period of time is through the advertising system. I studied filmmaking at the Bengaluru center of Manipal University. Then, before making the movie, I watched movies in many languages like Iranian and Japanese. After learning a lot from it, started directing for the first time. The shooting was completed in 28 days due to proper planning.