Former Kannur collector Mir Mohammed Ali picked Siva for the video promoting tourism in the district and the boy excelled in his role.

Kannur has a new tourism ad that features a 7-year-old breakthrough star
news Tourism Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 13:26

"Hi, I am Kannan. Have you seen my home? Come, let me show you. We have the most beautiful beaches, gorgeous rivers and backwaters..." The camera captures the twelve-year-old boy as he takes the viewer through breathtaking shots of beaches, kayaks, food and forts in the district of Kannur.

This latest commercial portraying the beauty of Kannur is an ode to the picturesque district from its Collector, Mir Mohammed Ali. After Mir wrote the lines for the commercial, he did not have to think twice about picking an ‘actor’ for the two-minute video to promote tourism in Kannur. Siva was a natural in front of the camera. 

During his three year stint as Collector, Mir has been to the Children’s Home at Thalassery several times and has frequently interacted with the children who are being raised in the government-run home due to difficult circumstances at their homes. It was from a group of boys in this home that he and his team chose Siva, who performed in front of the camera with ease.

The shooting began in the first week of June and Siva went taken to famed tourist spots in Kannur with the crew.

“He would work tirelessly, however long the shoot went on for. He was never nervous before the camera," says Mir, who is now director of Suchitwa Mission. The video was released on June 19 before he handed over his post.

It was an aerial shot of Siva on a kayak that had made Mir and the crew apprehensive. “On the day when they had to shoot the kayaking sequence; we were a bit apprehensive to make him sit on the kayak alone. First, we thought I would sit in the back with him while shooting; but then we would not be able to do the long shot as I would appear in the shot. Later, we made him sit on the kayak with a life jacket on. He grasped how to use the kayak quite fast and did so effortlessly,” Mir tells TNM.

A Class 7 student, Siva was soon familiar with the process of movie making as well.

“After shooting a scene, he would check how it was taken and some times would say he wasn’t happy with the shot. He even dubbed in English with all the expression and intonation we wanted, though he’s not that familiar with the language,” Mir says, fondly.

The other children of the home were thrilled with Siva’s acting in the video. The children watched the ad on the caretaker’s mobile phone.

Mir’s passion for films spurred his interest in making the ad. He added that the feedback for the video has been overwhelming.

“Kannur has many eye-catching tourism spots; but connectivity had mostly kept tourists away from here. But with the opening of the airport, the connectivity issues have been resolved. With the video, we wanted to show the best destinations. Though we received feedback that more spots could be added, we were under time constraints to produce a two-minute video,” Mir says.

Watch the ad below:

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