November 2, 2018
In a male-dominated sector of the film industry, women are slowly and steadily establishing their reign behind the camera.
The documentary ‘Decoding Shankar’ has been selected for the Indian Panorama, to be showcased at the International Film Festival of India IFFI. Deepti Pillay Sivan got married to renowned filmmaker Sanjeev Sivan, who has a film background. Her first documentary was ‘Lights, Camera, Action – No cuts please’ on censorship of India.
This mother of three put in two and a half years of effort, did thorough research to make this 52-minute masterpiece. It has already been screened at many international film festivals, including Stuttgart International Film Festival at Germany, Jecheon International Music and Film Festival, South Korea, and many film festivals in the US and Canada.
“I was pregnant when I started doing research. I think I have a junior Mahadevan at home now. I went into delivery and soon after the first 3 months, I was back to the shoot with the baby.”
She chose Shankar Mahadevan because she feels he is the only musician apart from A R Rehman who appeals to classes and masses. He has a huge fan base. He being a South Indian has made his presence felt in North India and hiis passion for music is mesmerizing.
The documentary stands out because of its unique storytelling and narrative style. It talks about how Shankar Mahadevan, a software engineer, quit his job to follow his passion – music.
Shankar, who has trained under Pandit Shriniwas Khale in Hindustani and Carnatic music since childhood, started his journey writing jingles for Cadbury Dairy Milk and many more. In 1999, he formed a trio with well-established musicians Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonca and they soon composed Bollywood’s biggest hit. The anecdotes and personal statements used in documentary beautifully weave together the defining moments that shaped Shankar’s life and focuses on how he balances his career as a singer, teacher, composer, family man and while juggling all of this still manages to follow his passion for cooking.
The documentary also offers music and documentary enthusiasts to explore every aspect of Shankar’s life from singing to composing, from live performance to being an actor as in the Marathi blockbuster ‘Kattyar Kaljat Ghusli’.
Deepti says, “My husband and everyone have poured in a lot of love. They keep on encouraging me. Soon maybe I will try directing a feature film. One thing that I truly believe is to follow your heart and passion; it will help you reach where you need to be. When you follow your passion it becomes your means to survive.”