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‘Ad’orning the khaki

DC | Deepa Soman |
Sijoy with wife Tessy and their children
Sijoy with wife Tessy and their children

Cinematographer Jomon T John observed his ad filmmaker friend Sijoy Varghese at work, and soon realised that the ad man has enough skill sets to be an actor too. When director Martin Prakkat and Jomon started planning ABCD, they offered Sijoy a role. His initial instinct was to ex­c­use himself, but couldn’t for long. “I decided to give it a shot, trusting the duo, and if I was any good, all credit goes to them,” says Sijoy, who play­ed the villainous cop in the hit movie. He also debuted as screenplay writ­er in Anchu Sundarikal.

“Director-cum-cinematographer Sameer C. Thahir has been the cameraman of quite a few of my ad films. We are good friends and occasionally discuss film plots. As he collaborated with Anchu Sundarikal’s team, he asked me to write for him,” he recalls. Sijoy runs an ad production company — TVC Factory — and always wanted to work in the creative field. He assisted Joshy Mathew in Naksha­trakoodaram in 1992 and also went on to work with many other directors. How­ever, Sijoy shifted to ad film making as that is what charmed him the most. “The campaigns Uniikinnoru Kuda Venam and Kunjanja Kunjanja were a runaway success and I became the permanent filmmaker for Johns Umbrella,” says Sijoy who has also directed many mega stage shows, pageants like Miss Kerala and brand launches.

Recalling the fun during the filming of ABCD, Sijoy says, “I never felt out of place as I had worked with most of the crew for ads. Costume designer Sameera Saneesh was ready with a police commissioner’s uniform in my size and when I tried it on, the power of the khaki uniform drove away all my  doubts about my ability to do the role.”

Though a multifaceted person, Sijoy says his favorite is writing. “I am able to showcase all my thoughts only when I write. I enjoy that freedom to express,” says Sijoy, who has a few upcoming projects on which discussions are going on. His wife is Tessy and the couple has three children — Adhitya, Amy and Annie. 


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