Interview with sunitha devadas

Well known journalist Sunitha Devadas talks about her debut movie Unconditional love: Big14me Exclusive 

Why did you decide to quit journalism and become an expatriate?

Journalism has always been a passion for me. I have realized that a socially committed person with an inclination for service can do significant works for the society through the fourth estate. I am proud to say that I have done remarkable works back home professionally and this helped me to stay connected with society as a known journalist. My husband is an engineer. He decided to move to Canada for better employment and education for children. So, I also had to move to Canada.

Tell us something about your Short Film Initiative?

“The Unconditional Love” is an extraordinary love story of two senior citizens – Mike and Alice. Mike is a 70-year-old writer who loves to spend most of his time with books. Alice is a dog trainer, who is passionate about dogs. One day, Mike had to approach Alice to train his pet, ‘Roxy’. The kindred spirits were drawn to each other and their love blossomed. In a strange coincidence, Max found love in ‘Roxy’, Mike’s pet. Two lonely souls found joy and love in each other’s company, and even their companions fell in love, making this movie unique and endearing.

The main two emotions we wanted to instill in our audience (viewers) are romance and loneliness. A balanced combination of these two makes the viewers emotionally attached to the movie. It’s an effort to portray the inner and outer transformation of two lonely individuals. Every viewer should be able to relate himself or anyone they know with similar circumstances in their life with the characters in this movie. Mike, the male lead undergoes a big transformation from being rude and stubborn to pleasant and lovable. With Roxy’s companionship and Alice’s love Mike is enjoying everything around him boundlessly. Books play an important role in this movie. “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak is used as the main prop as the male lead in the movie is a journalist and a writer. Sometimes we wonder, about the reason of attachment and love between two individuals. In this movie, two lonely souls find each other through similar interests. Roxy and Max, play an important role in finding their masters love for each other.

Since you moved to Canada, we are hearing your opinions through Social media and later regarding your short movie. Can you explain how was your transition from a journalist to a film maker?

Having moved to Canada, I decided to continue in an allied profession and studied video production at Nimbus School of Recording and Media and that is when I learned about the Storyhive Digital Shorts: Female Director Edition. STORYHIVE is for all British Columbia and Alberta-based content creators – filmmakers, artists, directors, writers, musicians, performers, and animators – to conceive and pitch their ideas for the Digital Shorts. I decided to seize the opportunity and submitted my multimedia application for my digital short concept to TELUS. TELUS in turn published the applications online and urged the public to vote for their favorite digital shorts to get funded. I was lucky enough to be 1 of 30 (15 in BC and 15 in Alberta) to get selected from over 280 applications and this also meant Telus provided a fund of $10,000 to produce my short movie “The Unconditional Love”. That is how I created this amazing short movie.

Can you please share some movie experience with our readers?

I was blessed with an exceptional crew and outstanding actors and thus our movie rose above and beyond my expectations. The cinematography was done by the veteran cinematographer, Jay Vincent ISC. Jay Vincent has been residing in Canada for past 20 years. I am very proud to be able to work with him.

Can you please tell us something about the cast and crew of your movie?

Mike and Alice, the lead pair of the movie are played by the graceful actors Devinder Dave Dillon and Teresa Laverty respectively. Two furry friends – Piper, a golden retriever and Azrael, a labrador – play the role of Roxy and Max in the movie. The role of Mike’s son, Sachin, is played by the spontaneous actor, Eric Kalsi. Kayvan Paymani coordinated the production works. The 2 melodious songs of the movie – “The One” & “Thinking of You” were written and sung by the Vancouverite singer and songwriter, Stephanie Ratcliff. After a week long of shoot we moved on with the post production works. Having completed it successfully thanks to our editor Colyn Brisebois and Sound Designer Calhoun Owen, we submitted it to Telus for publishing it on their website and Video on Demand on Optik TV.

As a Malayali, what is your feeling about making this movie?

Being the only Malayali selected from the total 260 entries for the STORYHIVE competition, I am very happy of my achievement. As everyone knows, being an immigrant family. starting a life from scratch was really hard for us and I struggled a lot. When I now look back now, I feel proud of myself for making such a marvelous movie. Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for allowing me to follow my dreams.

Any final thoughts about the movie?

The official trailer was released on February 1, 2017 and I am getting very motivational, positive response from all my audience. The movie will go public on YouTube for 5 days starting from February 6, 2017. I urge everyone to watch this movie and support us by casting a vote for the movie on the Story hive website. Your vote might decide if we stand to win the Top Award in BC or not. The Top Award consists of an opportunity for customized career training and a scholarship to the Banff World Media Festival and this in turn will mean we get to take our careers to the next level.