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Bleak side of humour takes a toll

Fun and practical jokes may be part of friendship, amusement and even social time-pass so long as they remain within legitimate limits of propriety. Beyond that, humour can become interminable tragedy. “Humour should be within limits; if it crosses those limits, humour can show its darker side,” Santosh Tukkapuram, who has directed a short film called, ‘The Dark Humour’ said. Produced by Sreeman Myadam for ‘Myadam Cinemas (NZ) Limited, the film has been shot entirely in New Zealand, with local cast and crew. The 19-minute low budget film has entered the ‘Guerrilla Film Making Challenge,’ aa Austin, Texas US) based competition that stimulates amateur producers and directors to showcase their talent. Dream chaser Born in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Santosh has chased his own dream of achieving name and fame in his own term since his formative years. “I have always believed in creating things rather than following set patterns. I accept the challenge of innovation, and achieve my goals through self-motivation, augmented by team work,” he said. The Indian Cinema, with its varied manifestations, was the strongest motivator in realising his dream of becoming a director and creating a film that would be markedly different from the run-of-the mill. As a first step towards the realisation of his directorial ambition, Santosh joined Zee Institute of Creative Art (run by Zee Television) and completed a course in Direction. “It was an eye-opener, allowing me to not only learn the nuances of the industry but also watch all types of genres and films. My first thought was to produce a film that highlights human relations and the consequences of playing pointless pranks. His television experience covers ‘Local TV,’ ‘Sitara TV,’ while his film credits include ‘The Cage’ (against caging animals), ‘PR’ (an immigration subject on Permanent Residence). The Message ‘The Dark Humour’ provided Santosh an opportunity to carry a message about extremities of jesting but more importantly an opportunity to show his talent. Choosing the cast and crew was another interesting experience for him. As they evolved, so did the story and its climax ‘The Dark Humour’ begins with a chance meeting between Ravi Verma (played by Aditya Duggaraju), a Pizza Delivery boy and Blenda (Issabella Debaege) when he visits her home to deliver Pizza on her 21st birthday. Their love blossoms and one day, Blenda says something that causes Ravi to take his own life. Thereafter, the movie takes a few twists and turns before ending in pathos. Cast choice Santosh said that he took the project as a test for a possible feature film in the foreseeable future. “I also wanted to have the experience of working with certain people to see if I can collaborate with them on bigger projects. ‘The Dark Humour’ was a stepping stone and an attempt to elevate my industry profile,” he said. He and Sreeman used their social connections to choose the cast. “Ravi is a sensitive person and quick to run into conclusions and hence it was important that the choice of actor for the lead role was appropriate. Aditya fitted into the character of Ravi like a glove.”   Other actors and crew were selected through agencies, advertisements and consulting friends. Issabella volunteered for her role after she heard about the story. 

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