Entrepreneur, social worker, film producer, Dr AV Anoop, Managing Director of AVA Group of companies, wears many hats. He has now set his heart on something he was passionate about early on in life – acting. Anoop’s tryst with acting started during his graduation days at MG College, Thiruvananthapuram, he tells MediaNews4u.com. Where he and his friends used to listen to dramas on All India Radio and rewrite it for the stage, in college and their housing colony.
Anoop recalls his first time on stage: “My journey as an actor started in Amabalanagar Housing Colony in Thiruvananthapuram, in the early 1980s. I had a group of friends who were equally passionate about stage plays and acting. We used to stage shows in the housing colony and our parents extended enormous support. During that time, Konniyoor Narendranath, then head of All India Radio Thiruvananthapuram, happened to see one of the dramas and told me to pursue acting. That was quite an inspiration and encouragement for the actor in me.”
After studies, Anoop moved to Chennai for a job. Here he was an active member of the Malayalee associations and part of several plays that were staged as part of the cultural gatherings.
Most recently, Anoop conceived the concept of a dance drama titled Chandalabhikshuki – based on the poem written by renowned Malayalam poet Kumaran Asan. The dance drama was staged in Chennai in February 2023.
He also spearheads Team Arts, a collective of people working in different places and backgrounds, but united with an aim to promote stage plays and drama artistes.
To the movies!
Anoop’s entry into the film industry was with Malayalam movie Pranayakalam in 2007.
“I entered the film industry to produce a movie named Yuga Purushan, which was based on the life of Sree Narayana Guru, an eminent philosopher and social reformer from Kerala. It got delayed and in order to try to experiment with the producer role, I did the movie Pranayakalam,” reveals Anoop.
His next production venture – even before the brush dropped – was a documentary based on the life of Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. It brought him several accolades including the Kerala State Film Award for Best Documentary.
“The awards and appreciation added to my confidence and inspired me to produce more movies,” says Anoop.
He produced Tamil movie Appuvin Nayagan – Spotty, which won the 56th National Film Awards for Best Film on Family Values in the non-feature section for 2008. His next movie as a producer Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha starring Mamootty, which depicted the true story of the first recorded murder case in Kerala, was adjudged Best Film at the 2009 Kerala State Film Awards. From thereon, he went on to produce several movies in Malayalam and Tamil.
During the pandemic period, he produced a short film titled Political Correctness, in which his family members ranging from a five-year-old to an 88-year-old acted. It made it to the Asian Books of Records as a film starring more than 50 members of one family.
Anoop made his movie acting debut with Kadaksham and went on to act in movies like Mohanlal starrer Mr Fraud, Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathe and more.
Currently, he is acting in a role which according to him is a challenging and dream role for any actor.
“Though I cannot reveal more about the movie and character, it is a very socially relevant theme which speaks about today’s generation and their relationship with their fathers. I am playing the father role,” says the MD-cum-actor.
Acting is not the only passion. He is currently learning to play the flute through YouTube videos.
“Long back I was training to play flute under a guru. After some years I couldn’t pursue the same. I used to play it at family or friends’ gatherings. The pandemic gave me the time and mindset to restart it. Currently by watching YouTube videos I am learning it more deeply,” he notes.
Anoop’s biggest support is his wife Priya and daughters. The creative bent runs in the family. Lanchana Vivek paints pet portraits and Pratheeksha Prasanth is a veena artiste.
Though active as producer and actor, Anoop doesn’t want to make it his profession.
“I never wanted to be a full-time film personality. I am involved in movies out of sheer passion. My profession is my business,” he signs off.