'Superstar of the poor' Santhosh Pandit
Have you heard or read about a movie producer who openly claimed that his movie collected one hundred times of the production cost? That also when many producers of movies wish and pray for at least ten to twenty times of the production cost as collection. That is Santhosh Pandit, the most talked about and even openly ridiculed and lampooned man in the Malayalam film world. He is all-in-all for all his movies. Except camera Pandit holds all the department in his movie making.
That is why probably he calls himself 'Superstar of the poor'.
The maverick- self-made, self styled Santhosh Pandit
For his movies Santhosh Pandit is the taker of all departments from production except for photography. He is the producer, story-screenplay writer, director, hero, lyricist, music director and singer in his movies. Moreover he also takes up editing, makeup, costumes and graphics. As he is the actor hero, it is not possible to wield the camera. Otherwise probably he would have done that also.
In a function he said that some people were showering expletives on him via even STD calls and stopped only when the charge in their phone got exhausted. This he was saying in a function where he was given an award being selected as Newsmaker of the year. He said that probably he has stirred many from their idle cozyness and proved that he could make a successful movie in quite unconventional ways when the movies of so-called established popular names were all collapsing. He felt that this cause jealousy in them and they may be hiring people to ridicule him and trying to defeat and scare him away by giving negative publicity and throwing dirt.
From his own various interviews in TV and magazines we know the following details about him and his movies. He is from Kozhikode, born in 1973,left a well paying Engineering job. He is credited with a number of degrees and diplomas in varied subjects. However it is very difficult to separate grain from chaff as there are many things floated by Pandit himself for sake of publicity and hidden for sake of privacy.
He had worked as polling officer in elections in Kerala as he was a state government employee than. He was selected to 'Malayalee House' ( similar to Big Boss). First he was eliminated, but the producers brought him back as wild card entry due to his comparative popularity then. Santhosh Pandit claims that he got Twenty six lakhs rupees from' Malayalee House' programme.
One man fighting herds of unkind critics
It was in October 2011 that his first movie of Santhosh Pandit "Radhayum Krishnanum' released. From the pre-release YouTube clips of songs n the film, Santhosh Pandit was ridiculed and called al names by the (half know ledged) public and movie field people. So he got more than needed publicity before the release of his first film itself. He claimed that his total cost for producing that movie was only rupees five lakhs. But surprising everyone, the movie opened to houseful audience. Thus he gained good profit from the movie even though the film was released in only a few theatres. The story was a straight and simple one showing how partners of inter-caste marriages still suffer from getting a house for rent to a decent cremation after death. It is this cost-collection success that made him challenge the established movie makers who ridiculed him and criticised him badly. He even boldly declared that as far as there is a receptive audience of spectators for his movies, he will go on producing movies and stay in the field. Much water has flowed since then.
Santhosh Pandit films from 2100-2016
Four more movies of Santhosh Pandit have come in less than five years since his first film. The first four are 'Krishnanum Radhayum", "Superstar Santhosh Pandit","Minimolude Achan", " Kaalidaasan Kavitha Ezhuthukayanu", . The latest film released is 'Tintumon Enna Kodeeswaran". ( Tintumon the millionaire) on last Friday 10 th June 2016. It is also reported that film is a success with audience numbers. He is happy that there is no other Malayalam film released on that day to competes with. His sixth film is expected to be released next month.
How he makes profit from his movies
He claimed in an interview with a newspaper that this latest film also cost him rupees five lakhs. He said that he will not keep shooting at night and that way saves a lot in lodging and other expenses. Publicity for his film is by uploading song clips and trailer in Youtube. That way also he earns money. He claims he gets lakhs of viewers for these. His movies are made with very less cost as he casts all new faces and almost the entire spectrum of departments in movie making is taken by him, except for camera. No sophisticated and costly equipments are used.
Santhosh Pandit not against Superstars
This self claimed Superstar of the poor' is now getting ready for releasing his next movie " Neelima enna kutty" next month . As per his interview, he has plans to take movies with Mohanlal or Mammootty if they consent. He says that he takes cinema very serious. He prides that his movies do not have alcohol or drugs abuse. Like every other moviemaker he also is interested to make money. This he does by preventing splashing and wastage by various measures and produces movie at a very small fraction of other movies.Though critics are not kind to him, he just ignores and proceeds with his style. After all, he has disproved the doomsayers who predicted that he is only a one day wonder
What a surprising personality Santhosh Pandit is that he is making films with new faces and with so less cost - unbelievable from today's standards in bollywood or else where.
The writer has given a vivid and exhaustive detail regarding the life and works of this unique hero cum producer.
Very nice article.
Santhosh Pandit is now reportedly acting in a film with Malayalam Super Star Mammootty. The news is that the shooting is on for a Malayalam movie by Ajay Vasudevan. The script is by Udayakrishna who wrote the script for the super-hit Mohanlal film 'Pulimurugan'.
The Santhosh Pandit-Mammooty starrer film is believed to be a mass entertainer. This is Pandit's first movie under another director. His films till now were directed by himself.