WHILE Urumi (2011) is the last film he directed in Malayalam, it is also Santosh Sivana��s initiation into production, under August Cinema a�� in partnership with Prithviraj, Arya and Shaji Nadesan. Interestingly, despite releasing the dubbed versions in Tamil and Telugu within a year, the Hindi version (Ek Yodha Shoorveer) is only releasing this week. a�?Back then wea��d wanted to do it simultaneously in Hindi, but couldna��t as we wanted original voices. Honestly, we didna��t realise that the story of Vasco Da Gama would interest so many a�� especially in other languages. It was more about educating them,a�? shares Sivan.
The cinematographer-director has just wrapped up shooting his first British film, Lies We Tell, directed by Mitu Misra. Starring Harvey Keitel and Gabriel Byrne, Sivana��who is also co-producing the filma��was often active on Twitter, sharing pictures from the set. Meanwhile, he is also excited about filming the next Murugodass directorial, starring Mahesh Babu a�� his first Telugu film in a career spanning over three decades. a�?I like to do one film at a time. When you walk into a film, most of the people are new; ita��s a fresh experience. Never mind the genre, serious or parallel, you learn so much from it. I like that,a�? he admits.
For Sivan, cinematography is very Zen-likea��there is so much creativity involved. a�?Technology has changed over the years, but the sensibilities remain the same. Thata��s why we still look at films of Vincent Master, VK Murthy, Balu Mahendra or Ashok Kumar with reverence a�� they captured it in all its simplicity and purity. We should have a sensibility that comes from our culture, rather than the internet,a�? he says. His assistants talk about his ability to work with natural amenities and create magic out of it. a�?In Urumi, we were shooting in rain and we got waterfalls like shower curtains. That was later used in so many films.a�?
He likes the fact that today the audience is able to differentiate between good and bad cinematographya��a�?that makes them appreciate it more.a�? While Sivan does read the a�?occasional sensible constructive review,a�? he says that with the advent of social media, everyone is a film critic. a�?I dona��t expect any film to connect 100 per cent with people a�� everyone will have some reservations on some aspects of the film,a�? he shrugs.
Travelling is Sivana��s second greatest love; nature comes first. Currently creating a miniature forest in Pondicherry, it is his passion project. a�?I did a documentary on Farmers of Kuttanadu, after which I got a couple of acres to plant trees as per the star signs (different trees for different stars) and medicinal plants.a�?