Behind The Camera at Twenty – Sanjay Harris

At 20, Sanjay Harris must be one of the youngest cinematographers in the Malayalam film industry, making his mark with the movie Basheerinte Premalekhanam. Though Sanjay has been associated with the industry for a few years as assistant to some prominent directors, he got his big break when Aneesh Anwar approached him for Basheernte Premalekhanam.

“I was working on a project that for certain reasons got shelved. It was then, Aneesh asked me if I could work for his new project and I immediately agreed. Why wouldn’t someone not work with a person who has directed movies like Zachachariyayude Garbhinikal and Kumbasaram, both of which had unconventional plots,” says Sanjay.

Sanjay has been passionate about photography since childhood and was certain that he wanted to pursue a career in it, which finally made him join Balaji’s – Institute of Creative Excellence in Mumbai. He eventually got a chance to assist director Abhinandam Ramanujan for the movie Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal and worked with him for around two and a half years. Thereafter, he also associated with Madhu Neelakandan for Rani Padmini. The shift to cinematography happened with him taking up the role of assistant cameraman for movies like Double Barrel and Inspector Dawood Ibrahim.

Asked if things were made easy for him by the presence in the industry of brother Sooraj Harris, who is an actor-cum-producer, Sanjay says, “The initial struggle is a part of the game. It is the time required to perfectly fit into the slot that the industry provides. It is competitive but if a person is talented and has substance then his/her passion and hard work will definitely pay off, as it happened in my case.” Though Sanjay is confident, he seems rooted to the ground, wants to work with different directors and is in talks with several of them. He is currently shooting at Lakshwadeep for his upcoming movie which is expected to release by the end of this year.

Basheerinte Premalekhanam is a romantic comedy with Fahadh Fazil’s brother Farhan Fazil in the lead. Vikramadityan fame Sana Althaf will be the female lead. Veteran star actors Madhu and Sheela will come together after 35 years in the movie. Prominent actors like Joy Mathew, Aju Varghese, Shanavas, Manikandan, Sivaji Guruvayoor, Ponnamma Babu, Ranjini Jose and Sethulakshmi are playing supporting roles in the movie.