Film showcasing Arab-Kerala ties set for global release

The film, titled 'Uru', narrates how Indian expatriates have embraced the Arab culture and feel at home in the Gulf countries



By CT Desk

Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 4:23 PM

Indian film showcasing the age-old maritime ties between Arab seafarers and Indian boat builders is set for a global release on March 25. Directed and scripted by veteran Gulf-based journalist EM Ashraf, the film titled Uru, which means wooden dhow, narrates how Indian expatriates have embraced the Arab culture and feel at home in the Gulf countries they consider their second home.

Ashraf, who headed the editorial team of a leading Malayalam television channel in the Gulf, seeks to depict the relationship between head craftsman of the dhow-building yard Sreedharan, played by Mamukoya and Rashid who arrives in Beypore, Kerala as the representative of an Arab to oversee the production of his Uru (wooden boats).

The city, as an ancient port, has historical connections to Arab traders. The port town has long been famous for the construction of dhows that were mainly used for travel and carrying merchandise by Arab traders.

Gulf countries became a sought-after destination for job seekers from Kerala since the fifties. It was dhows, made of wood, that helped them to cross the sea in search of a livelihood. This is the first time a film has been made about the ‘dhow,’ said Ashraf. “The film talks about how Indian expatriates have embraced the Arab culture and feel at home in their second home.”

Actor Hassan Al Salman from Saudi Arabia plays a major role in the film.

Ashraf said that the film, which shows various aspects of making Uru, also depicts the crisis of expatriates returning home. The film, shot in Beypore and Mahe, also stars several craftsmen.

The cast of the movie features some of the leading actors of Malayalam cinema, including Mamukoya, Albert Alex, Manju Pathrose and K U Manoj.

Uru is produced under the banner of Sam Productions by Mansoor Palloor, a former expatriate of Qatar who is currently based in Saudi Arabia.

Noted music composer and playback singer Jassie Gift has composed the music for lyrics penned by national award winner Prabha Varma. Sreekumar Perumbadavam has done the cinematography while Hari Nair has handled the editing.

Ashraf, who has written and directed the short film Bonjour Mayyazhi based on M. Mukundan’s novel, has authored about 50 travelogues and biographies, including a biography of Vaikom Muhammed Basheer.


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