The Malayalam actor on her upcoming projects and playing an illegal immigrant in ‘Footprints on Water’
Nimisha Sajayan is all excited when she talks about bagging a plum role in Natalia Syam’s new English film, Footprints on Water, starring Adil Hussain of Life of Pi fame, Antonio Akeel and Malayalam actor Lena.
Nimisha plays the missing daughter of an illegal immigrant, enacted by Adil. Through the father’s desperate search for his daughter in Birmingham, the film examines the lives of immigrants who reach the UK in search of a better life. Written by Neetha Syam, the film reflects the issues faced by diverse ethnic groups that struggle to find their place in the sun in modern UK.
“Filming will start in the first week of December,” says Nimisha, speaking on phone from Kochi. She had made a mark at the Venice Film Festival as the protagonist in Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s film Chola (Shadow of Water).
It was director Natalia who called up Nimisha and told her about the role in her upcoming film. “There were no auditions. Each character has been so well-written in the brilliant script. It has such a beautiful multi-lingual story that will have characters speaking in English, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam,” says Nimisha.
Meanwhile, the talented actor, who made a mark as Sreeja in her first film Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, has teamed up with her Thondimuthalum lead actor, Suraj Venjaramoodu, in a new movie titled The Great Indian Kitchen, directed by Jeo Baby. “We were in the midst of the shooting of Martin chettan’s [director Martin Prakkat] Nayattu when the lockdown was announced. I essay a police officer in the film. I was really frustrated during the lockdown as there was no work at all. I enjoyed the unexpected break for a few days, but then it became boring. The only thing I did was watch movie after movie. Amongst the many I watched, Birds of Passage and Pickpocket, a French classic directed by Bresson, were outstanding,” explains Nimisha.
That is when she got a call for a new film with Suraj. “It was great to be back in front of the camera,” avers the actor.
Once permission was given for shootings that adhered to COVID-19 protocol, Nimisha completed Nayattu and also worked in The Great Indian Kitchen. “It is the story of a husband and wife. Shot on a tight budget, it was was completed in 20 days,” she says.
Two of her big films are still in the cans as theatres remain closed even though the lockdown has been eased in some sectors. Mahesh Narayanan’s Malik and Rajeev Ravi’s Thuramugham, which were all set for festival releases, will see her working with Fahadh Faasil and Nivin Pauly respectively. Both the movies are anchored on real-life incidents and people and cover crucial periods in Kerala’s modern history. “Like everyone else in the industry, I hope theatres will open soon! There are so many films lined up for release,” she says.