The titles of all his films roll to show the same three words, ‘To My Parents’. Ritwik Baiju’s love for cinema begins with the films his dad had brought for him to see as a child, and the stories his mother wrote. Yet, the parents Baiju Chandran and K.A. Beena had no idea that cinema would be an obsession with Ritwik when he enrolled for BA Multimedia at St. Joseph College, Changanassery.
The turning point for Ritwik came when he joined the crew of Shyamaprasad’s Rithu as a clap boy. He held tightly onto the clap board and the script bag he was entrusted with. The 30 days of running around the sets, watching a disciplined and cool Shyamaprasad at work, clapping at the then newcomers Rima Kallingal, Asif Ali and Nishaan, meant a lot to the 19-year-old.
Months later, he took his first short film. A one-minute-long ‘3’ that he made for a film festival at the SOMS Institute. Three years down the line, Ritwik took five more films. On Wednesday, he released his latest and longest film Chilappol Chilar at the Press Club. “It’s a project I did with my friends. They have all been with me in my degree course,” says Ritwik, who’s now in his final year of M.Sc Visual Communication at Loyola College, Chennai.
Chilappol Chilar is a story of friendship, told in the casual way of boyhood and camaraderie. “It’s based on a true incident that Jithin and Libin (who wrote the script) had witnessed in their hostel.”
Ritwik’s Rope, a three-minute-long film he took earlier this year, was also inspired by a real life story. “Jithin’s friend who had been at the Mumbai red light street saw a child tied to a chair, mouth and eyes gagged, music played loud in the background…so that he wouldn’t hear the sounds coming from the next room, of his mother who is a sex worker and her customer.”
The film won awards at various film festivals including the Take One Fest organised by Kerala University, the Contact Film Festival and the Cochin Don Bosco Fest. Ritwik had also taken ‘I can’, a college project and ‘Swetham’ based on a story written by his mother. He made the promo video for a school reality show, ‘Harithavidyalayam’.
Sooner or later, he hopes to be in the feature film industry, but he’d give himself a few years to be ready.