Post his historic induction into the prestigious American Society Of Cinematographers(ASC), Santosh Sivan is on a high. He’s all set to reunite with two of his favourite filmmakers from the South, Priyadarshan and Mani Ratnam, for their next Hindi projects.
Priyadarshan and Sivan will work together for a film after 16 years. The untitled Hindi venture is believed to be a remake of the 2009 Tamil movie, Naadodigal. It is about three friends who go to great lengths to unite a couple in love.
The film will cast only newcomers. It will be shot in Mumbai during the monsoons.
“When Santosh and I decided to come together, we wanted to do something different. He suggested we shoot a film in Mumbai during the rains. I agreed because neither of us has done that,” says Priyadarshan.
He admits he is really happy about working with Sivan again. “The last time Sivan and I came together was for Kaala Paani in 1996. After that, we got busy with our own projects. Now, finally after all these years, we will work together again. According to me, Sivan is the finest cinematographer we have.
He understands frame and light composition better than any of his contemporaries or assistants. I’ve worked with many other cinematographers. But the way he contributed to my work in Gardish and Kaala Paani is unparalleled. The way he uses the colour black on screen is commendable.”
As for Mani Ratnam,
Sivan gallantly stepped in to shoot Raavan in 2010 after the original cinematographer opted out.
Ratnam’s next Hindi film, which will probably star Ranbir Kapoor, will be shot by Sivan.
Says Ratnam, “I am not surprised that Sivan is now ‘Santosh Sivan ASC’. I was not surprised when he received multiple National Awards in the past, or when his films won international recognition. He’s special both as an artiste and a human being.”
Sivan says he is humbled by all the encomium. “As an artiste, it is very satisfying to work with Priyan and Mani. After I was inducted in the ASC, the biggest compliment came from my father. He had never complimented me all these years. But, after the recognition, he said he could feel my late mother’s presence in all the pictures I took of her.”
Sivan’s father is a photo-journalist and a cinematographer. “He only shoots his own films. He’s almost 80 but still fully active. Last year, his film won the National Award for Best Children’s film.”
Sivan says he has inherited his sense of visuals and cinema from his grandmother. “She used to tell me stories, get these Raja Ravi Varma paintings and weave more stories around them. That’s how I ended up playing Raja Ravi Varma in Lenin Rajendran’s film last year.”