What an inspiring tale of 32 years old Shareef Easa! He works on a rubber plantation farm in Kannur’s Chapparapadavu village and earns Rs.400 for tapping 200 trees, on alternative days. But you will do a double take when you know that Easa is also a film maker and his film, Kanthan, was adjudged the best film in the state of Kerala for 2018 only last week.
Easa, even after winning, continues to work as a rubber tapper as the money he got as an award from the Govt, Rs.4 lakh was used to repay the Rs.11 loan he took to make the movie. He has been a rubber tapper for 17 years and has no formal training in movie making. But he has a story to tell and he did used the resources he had to the best – he used a wedding videographer to shoot the entire 140 minutes film.
Set in Wayanad, Easa’s film speaks about the need for conservation and is based on the tribals and adivasis settled there. Almost all the actors in his film are tribals of the village except for the main child artist – Prajith playing the lead role and his grandmother, played by Daya Bai. He had a total of 5 crew members. The camera was handled by the owner of a photo studio in Taliparamba town. There was no make-up artiste.
Easa took a loan of Rs 11 lakh after pledging both his properties: a one-acre rubber plantation and 12 cents on which his house stands. He also sold his video camera for Rs 60,000 and the rest was sourced from friends as loans with amounts ranging from Rs 5,000 to 1 lakh. A school teacher, Bindu Jayaraj, and a local welder, Sujayan Poovam, chipped in with Rs 1.9 lakh.
The best part about Easa’s story – his film has been sent for the national awards. We all are waiting!