When on vacation, kids normally do certain things: visit relatives, re-explore their parents’ house and go around visiting malls and shops. This summer vacation was special for three Hawally-based kids. They got a chance to act in a short film on Onam, Kerala’s harvest festival. The kids – Cherish, Alma Trisa and Liva Maria – all students of Indian Community School, Salmiya, are thrilled about their roles in a film that returns to the past of a golden, legendary era that proclaimed a beautiful, equal world.
This year, Onam falls on 6 September but the makers of Onam Oru Orma (Onam, a Memory) released the 19-minute film on YouTube after its first public screening in Angamaly, Kerala on 28 August. The story unfolds through the memories of Suresh Mookkannoor, a veteran, when he is invited by Sathish Mambra, representing a cultural organization that is conducting Onam celebrations. Kids gathering flowers to prepare the traditional flowerbed to welcome the good king Mahabali, elders presenting new clothes, family vegetarian banquet and the unity among all is beautifully revealed through the skilled camera work of Royta, the cameraman, who also edited the film.
“My idea is to document Onam in its originality,” said Sathish Mambra, who wrote the script and lyrics. The short film includes poetry and folksongs within the details of the traditions of Onam. The film is directed by Prabhu Angamaly and is produced by Vipanchika Sahithya Vedi, Angamaly while Christopher Kottackal was the assistant director. Other contributors are: Cast John Manjapra, Arun West Koratty, Prabhakaran Nayathodu, Binto Lonappan and Anuja Velayudhan. Title animation by bgm and Adithyan Suresh. Edakka performance by Ramesh Kurup, and Singer Durgadas set the musical tone.