From Merchant Navy officer to actor: Adith on how '24 Days' changed his life

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It takes immense courage and a healthy dose of madness to come out of a comfort zone and pursue your real calling. While following one’s passion comes at a high price, many are now a days willing to grab and create their own opportunities to do what their heart tells them to.

The acting profession has seen many talents who took up other vocations before making a mark in the reel world. Adith US, a Merchant Navy officer, loved cinema and wanted to make films since childhood.

Pursing his dreams, Adith took a year's leave from his job and was joined by his colleague and friend Sreekanth EG to make a movie.

Sreekanth directed the movie Adith wrote and played the lead.

Titled 24 Days, Adith also played the lead role in the movie. As part of it's Thiruvananthapuram release, Onmanorama caught up with Adith. Excerpts:

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Adith (R) and director Sreekanth (L)

How did the passion for movies begin?

We loved movies and it so happened that during an inter-college fest they invited spot mobile movies. It was a three-minute piece with no dialogue. And surprisingly we won the first prize. After that we became confident, we could do more. Thus we made a docu-fiction about our institute and it grabbed attention. We went ahead and made two more short films. It fetched many awards and accolades, one of them even getting screened at Manchester film festival. That's how we moved on with the film.

How did the feature film happen?

Initially nobody was ready to fund us. We didn't have a movie background and it was hard to find a producer. During my working days on ship, I once happened to have a chat with my captain about my passion to make a movie. He promised to bear the production charges. That was encouraging for me and we went on a crowdfunded venture. It's been 2 years since we completed the movie and till this time, those who provided the funds have not sought their money back.

How did you manage your professional life and passion?

We had taken leave for the movie. Other than that, we were working. Honestly speaking, this film happened because we were in this profession. I don't wish to make money by making movies.

Can you tell us about the film?

Ours is a travel movie spanning 24 days. The story revolves around a youngster who travels from Kanyakumari to Himalayas for 24 days and how the trip changes his life. During his journey, he happens to reflect on his past and rethinks about his future. Everyone is looking for happiness and the character focuses on how happiness can be found from within oneself.

How did you approach scripting such a theme?

Sometimes, having no forehand knowledge is a blessing. We didn't know initially how to visualize. When we reached the of picturisation, we sat together had discussions and developed it accordingly. Our associate Anuj Ramachandran was a senior in the industry and many such people helped us to make the product into an interesting visual story.

About the casting

There is no star cast and most of us are newcomers. Krishnakumar Menon who is known for his role in a Mazhavil Manorama serial Dr Ram is also part of this movie. There are about 30-40 characters who were selected after a casting call.

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Director Sreekanth, Cinematographer Nijin Lightroom and Adith

So, what about the release?

We have been busy with festival releases and all.

This week, the movie was released in Thiruvananthapuram. Next week it will be in Kannur as well as the director is from there. Then later in Kochi. We would like to know how people accept it.

About your family

I am settled at Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram and my family comprises father, mother, wife and a 3-year-old girl. They are yet to watch the movie.

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