Picture life in a co-ed engineering college and tinsel town-inspired images of fun, flirting, bunking class, hanging out with mates, and in between, of course, that bit of ‘extra-curricular activity’ known as studies, would perhaps come to mind. Reality though is quite different say a bunch of students of the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET), who have made a 10-minute short film titled CET Life, the quirky teaser of which has gone viral on Youtube and Facebook, garnering 4,800 plus hits since it was released five days ago.
“CET Life is a love story that traces four years in the life of a B. Tech student named Sidhu; the various emotions that he goes through in the time he studies at CET. Sidhu enters college in the first year with stars in his eyes thinking that like any entertaining movie, it’s going to be non-stop fun and he’ll get the girl he’s always dreamed of. As he finds out soon enough, reality is a different story altogether,” says Shersha Sherief, a final year student of the Department of Electrical Engineering, who, along with some of his friends and classmates such as Arun Kumar, Akhil. S Kumar, Sharath N.S., and Aravind G.S, to name a few, conceptualised the film.
“When we were in Plus Two, CET was the dream destination. That the institution is great, is of no doubt; we all hold it close to our hearts. However, life on campus actually means spending days holed up in isolated buildings set amid acres of wilderness, where you’re hard pressed to meet one student let alone have fun with a whole lot of them! You only get to meet the same people everyday,” adds Shersha, who wrote the story and also acted as Sidhu in the film.
Although, Sidhu’s story is set in CET, the film’s director Sharath (who co-directed the film with classmate Arun, credited in the film as Saru and Akku, respectively) says that it could be the story of any B. Tech student anywhere. “It is an ode to what our vision about campus life was like and what it actually turned out to be like! Getting a girlfriend is not as easy as you think it is. Sidhu is perplexed as to why he’s the only one who can’t get a girl. Hence the tagline: njanenthaa aliyaa set aavathae? Let’s just say that college life leaves a lot to be desired,” says Sharath, with a laugh.
For funding the film, the students dipped into their own pockets, even using up prize money that some of them had won during various college fetes the past year. “The only actual challenge was convincing people to get on board. It just rolled from there. Seeing the dearth of love stories in Mollywood, we wanted to film a love story and it has been a fun ride thus far,” says Shersha.
The group also roped in Padmajan Rajeevan, a student of Architecture at CET and son of noted filmmaker Rajeev Anchal, to crank the camera. Editing is being done by Appu Bhattathiri of Second Show fame, effects (especially in the trailer, which has Calvin and Hobbes inspired cartoons, among others) is by Chennai Film Institute-trained Arun Lal Pillai, and music is by Siddhartha Pradeep. All the three are Shersha’s classmates from St. Thomas Central School and are the only “outsiders” working on the film. Architecture student Nikita has also acted in the film.
The students – most of whom will bid adieu to CET in less than a month – hope to release the film in April.
With Inputs from “The Hindu”