Malayalam director Shyamaprasad will adapt Anees Salim’s 2017 novel The Small-Town Sea, the author announced on Facebook on Tuesday. The novel follows an unnamed 13-year-old boy who moves from a busy city to a quieter sea-side town where his terminally ill father lives. The father eventually dies, and the boy has to come to terms with the death along with unexpected challenges.

Salim has written five novels so far. He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his fourth novel, The Blind Lady’s Descendants, in 2018.

Speaking to Silverscreen.in, Shyamaprasad said that he plans to begin filming by mid-2019 and finish the movie by the end of the year. Calling the book “moving and painful”, Shyamaprasad said that he had wanted to adapt it ever since he read it. “Stories told from the perspective of a child always fascinate me,” Shyamaprasad said, noting that the novel reminded him of a short film he directed, based on MP Mohammad’s short story Ullurukkam. The adaptation, he said, will be a “star vehicle”.

Shyamaprasad’s previous literary adaptations include Agnisakshi (1999) based on Lalithambika Antharjanam’s novel of the same name, Akale (2004) based on Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, and Artist (2013) based on Paritosh Uttam’s Dreams in Prussian Blue.

The Small-Town Sea. Courtesy Hamish Hamilton.
The Small-Town Sea. Courtesy Hamish Hamilton.