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Music composer Isaac Thomas Kottukapally, can take credit for a unique achievement: he is an integral part of six of the 21 films selected for the Indian Panorama at the International Film Festival of India, currently being held in Goa.

In this interview with Shobha Warrier, Isaac talks about the four feature films in the Indian Panorama for which he has composed music: Sashi Kumar's Kaya Tharan (Hindi), Rajiv Vijayaraghavan's Maargam (Malayalam), Ligy J Pullappally's Sancharam (Malayalam) and Madhu Ambat's 1:1.6 An Ode to Lost Love (English).

The other two films for which he has composed music in the Panorama are Suja Vinu Abraham's An Encounter With A Life Living and Prabhu's LL Chandru.

He has also scored the music for Girish Kasaravally's National Award winning film Dweepa, being screened at the festival as a tribute to the late Soundarya, who produced the film and played the lead role.

As early as his school days, Isaac Thomas has been writing and acting in plays. A primary school student, impressed with Bimal Roy's Madhumati, he watched it several times. By the time he reached high school, he had become the choir captain, and was playing the piano and composing English music. He was fascinated by Lawrence Of Arabia and watched the film eight times. Soon, he was writing musical theatre for the school stage.

While studying at the Madras Christian College, he decided to join the Film and Television Institute at Pune after his graduation. The reason: Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali. After acquiring his postgraduate diploma in direction and screenplay writing from FTII, he worked with the late Aravindan on films like Thampu, Kummatti and Esthappan.

Isaac Thomas's entry into the world of films as a composer started with Girish Kasaravalli's Kannada film Thai Sahiba in 1998. The film went on to win a National Award.

Over to the music composer:

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Photograph of Isaac Thomas: Sreeram Selvaraj
Design: Uday Kuckian

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