Treading New Pastures with Confidence & Optimism

Young film producers Prince Hussain & Linto Thomas talk about their new projects! 

Malayalam film industry has always been applauded for its creativity, innovative story lines and its versatile team of directors and actors. Over the years, it has evolved by leaps and bounds and today, it has become one of the most progressive industries down south that is willing to experiment in terms of scripts, narration and soul stirring characters. Most importantly, the industry has hailed new directors and producers who are passionate about Cinema. Ritz gets into a conversation with two such young entrepreneurs – Prince Hussain and Linto Thomas, who are all set to make their mark in Mollywood with two of their new productions, Luca and Jallianwala Bagh.

Text: Riya Sonny Datson
Photography: Richard Antony
Hair Styling: Aneesh Paachu
Makeup: Anjairaaj
Venue: Le Meridien, Kochi

Growing up, Prince was always drawn to Cinema and he never missed a single movie aired on Doordarshan during weekends. With age, his passion for films grew and he fondly recalls bunking classes during his pre-degree and college days to catch his favourite movies at the theatre! “I have always loved Cinema but had absolutely no connection with the industry. So after completing mechanical engineering, I soon started my own IT firm which kept me busy. It was by chance that I heard about the movie, ‘Oru Mexican Aparatha’ starring Tovino Thomas. That’s when I felt that maybe, this was a golden opportunity for me to understand the nuances of film making and actually watch how a film was made. Production seemed to be my key to Cinema and so, I chose to be the executive producer of the film,” says Prince.

Linto Thomas was the Co-Producer of the very same film and after the success of the movie, they decided to team up and form a production house, titled Stories and Thoughts Productions. Linto is based in Delhi and operates a medical Recruitment firm called Affiniks International. It is his passion for Cinema that draws him to his home state of Kerala. Producing a film involves huge risks but when asked about what keeps them motivated, Prince quickly responds, “Risk is a part of every job and every sector. During the filming of OMA, I was present on the sets every single day, learning on the job about every little detail. Yes, Cinema is unpredictable. Out of almost 150 movies that release every year, only a handful are super hits. I myself have listened to almost 120 scripts before finalising the projects we are doing now. But I feel I did rather handle risks now than face them, 10 – 15 years down the line. I would like to settle down by the time I am 40 or 45.”

‘Luca’ got a lot of media attention recently for making the largest dreamcatcher in the world that measured upto 37 feet. It managed to get into the Guinness Book Of World Records as well. The large piece of art created for the movie, was made in Fort Kochi, with materials like Pinewood, cotton, leather, rope and feathers. “Installing the dreamcatcher was one of the most memorable moments during the making of Luca. Based on requests from the governing bodies, we had initially installed it as a permanent fixture at Fort Kochi but later due to certain legal restrictions, we had to dismantle it. That was very disappointing as a lot of time, effort and money had gone into making the installation a permanent fixture, which was done purely as a goodwill gesture,” recalls Prince.

As the team gears up for the launch of Luca on June 28th, there is much excitement and expectations are high. “Luca is a romantic thriller that features Tovino in a completely new avatar. He is playing the role of a very creative scrap artist. It is an intense love story that has a thriller element to it and that’s what makes it an interesting watch. I feel that the youth would be able to relate to the film,” says Linto. The duo are also wrapping up another project, titled ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ that revolves around a true life incident that happened at the Maharaja’s college in Kochi. “Jallianwala Bagh does not have a big star cast but it is a very realistic film that captures the essence of college and hostel life,” he adds.

Both their projects – Luca and Jallianwala Bagh, have an entirely fresh crew working for it, so were there any hiccups? “No, on the contrary, we had a lot of fun as a young vibrant team working towards a single dream. Each of them knew what exactly they were expected to do, so there was no miscommunication or lag in any way,” says Prince. So what’s on their bucket list? While Prince hopes to direct a project someday, Linto wants to continue producing good movies. “We are discussing scripts and talking about a new project in Malayalam with Chemban Vinod. A Tamil project with Senthil Kumar, featuring Sathyaraj in the lead role is also in the pipeline.”