Sameera learnt the first lessons in stitching as a school student during a vacation after eighth standard. This was following compulsion from her mother. She soon overcame her initial hesitation and began to love working on cloth. Now, after 10 years in the Malayalam film industry as a costume designer, Sameera Saneesh has been part of around 150 movies and won two state awards.
Having won her latest state award for ‘Kammara Sambhavam’, Sameera says that a lot of effort is needed for period films. “Authenticity should be ensured even regarding the emblem on the British army personnel’s uniform,” she says.
Sameera was pregnant while she was working for ‘Kammara Sambhavam’. “Director Ratheesh Ambatt gave me complete freedom to work in the project. Other crew members too offered full support,” she says.
Second state award
Sameera had won her first state award in 2014 for various films. “Work is much more difficult these days. Clothes in old designs are hard to come across now. In ‘Kumbalangi Nights’, Shane Nigam’s character wears loose pants. I visited innumerable shops for it. In such situations, the dress is stitched,” she says.
Record number of films
“Even though my plan was to do just one film, I did costume designing for 80 films in five years to enter the Limca Book of Records,” Sameera reveals.
She started by working for advertisement films and designed costumes for a Hindi movie called ‘The White Elephant’. ‘Daddy Cool’ was her first Malayalam movie.
“I planned to return to doing advertisements after one feature film as work on ad films would be over in a couple of days. Moreover, I need not stay away from home for long. However, I received several offers after ‘Daddy Cool’ and filmmaker Aashiq Abu told me that I shouldn’t let go of the opportunities. Then I decided to stick on to films. I have been involved in around 150 films so far,” she says.
Before starting her work on a film, Sameera gets a briefing from the director on the story. Subsequently, discussions will be held with the entire team, followed by purchasing the necessary items. Shopping is done mainly from Bengaluru, Chennai and Ernakulam.
“The costume will be finalized after a trial. I have a team of around 25 people designing and creating clothes for me,” reveals Sameera.
Virus, Mera Naam Shaji, Yamandan Premam and Athiran are ready for release. Work on ten others films is in progress.
Rapid fire round
Film for which you waited in vain for an award – Charlie
Film for which you wished to design costumes for – ‘Artist’ by Shyamaprasad.
Actor and actress working for whom gives you most satisfaction – Dulquer Salman and Mamata.
Favourite shopping area – M G Road, Kochi.
Fashion designer you admire the most – Sabyasachi Mukherjee.