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How four Kerala youth are spearheading a novel film movement

From Right to Left: Sidharth Satheesh, Gagan Dev, Rohan Muraleedharan and Alex Jose Dennis.

When 23-year-old Gagan Dev from Ernakulam decided to chase his passion for filmmaking, little did he realise that his decision would result in a movement in Kerala bringing together youngsters who are passionate about filmmaking and making full-length feature films.

It all began when Gagan Dev of Varappuzha in 2019 met Rohan Muraleedharan, 23, of Thrikkakara, Alex Jose Dennis, 24, of Kaloor and Sidharth Satheesh, 22, of Kadavanthara through social media while sharing their views and ideas on filmmaking. Realising that they all shared a common love for films, they launched a movement called “Coconut Talkies” on YouTube and started making short films. While Gagan studied history for his graduation, Sidharth pursued sound engineering, Rohan specialised in visual communications, and Alex focused on graphic design.

Their debut project “Alicinte Albhutalokam” garnered positive feedback, laying the foundation for their unconventional narrative style. Their second short film “Aarodengilum Mindande” (Someone to Talk To) was screened at the 13th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), and it boosted their confidence.

“We struggled a lot and suffered setbacks. But our love for films gave us the strength. We are really happy that our movement could attract youngsters from diverse backgrounds but who shared a common love for films. Coconut Talkies is a movement which now has 20 youngsters as its active members,” Gagan Dev told “Open Digest.”

Though the lockdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic initially dampened their spirits, Coconut Talkies continued with their mission to build a creative eco-system by conducting virtual meetings, sharing ideas, and holding skill-building sessions. “The movement is truly a blessing. As an artist, people inspire me the most, and I am happy to be part of it,” said Sidharth Satheesh.

The movement has so far made six short films and a full-length feature. Their dedication paid off when their feature film “Applechedikal” was officially selected by the prestigious International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) 2023, in the esteemed category of Malayalam Cinema Today. “It was a big moment for us. Not only did it win the hearts of the audiences, but it also got praises from industry experts,” Gagan Dev added.

Coconut Talkies is a collective movement of youngsters who are passionate about films, and the movement believes in forging relationships and sharing experiences for storytelling.

One Comment

  1. Vijayan April 4, 2024

    Truly Great initiative n Best Wishes. Proud to be Keralalites

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