Screenplays new literary genre in Kerala, says Mammootty

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Megastar Mammootty says screenplays are emerging as a literary genre in Kerala and he would like to see more exchange of ideas between Malayalam and Western scriptwriters.

‘Screenplays are an emerging literary genre in Kerala. Almost all movie scripts are published in the form of books and they are widely read,’ on the sidelines of the three-day Week Hay Festival that began here Friday.

Scripts have a wide audience in Kerala, said the superstar, who has acted in over 300 movies. He is known for his performance in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s ‘The Walls’.

‘I don’t write scripts myself but I have written three books. I don’t have time to write scripts – but I want the organisers of Hay Festival to bring more scriptwriters next year. Movie scripts, like plays, are becoming crucial to new publishing in the state,’ the movie actor said.

Mammootty joined the league of writers with his first book, ‘Kazhchapadu’, a compilation of short essays which he has contributed to various publications over the years. It was widely acclaimed for its pithy style.

The actor has won three national awards, seven state awards and 10 Filmfare awards. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 1998. Born Muhammad Kutty in Kottayam district in 1953, Mammootty is involved in several humanitarian projects for the elderly, poor and street children.

‘We are supposed to be the most literate state in the country – but our language, Malayalam, is very young. Our contemporary literature started taking off with movies and travelogues. We have been influenced by the French and English literature,’ Mammootty said.

‘We have a lot of translations of world classics and most people in the state know the trends in global literature,’ the actor said.

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