Srinivasan and Mammootty filming the UAE-based tale Pathemari. Image Credit: Supplied

Mammootty has been shooting for a film called Pathemari (Wooden Boats) in the UAE, which is about the experiences of Malayalis in the UAE.

One of Kerala’s most bankable stars, Mammootty has joined hands with actor Srinivasan and National Award-winning director and actor Salim Ahmad for a packed five-day schedule in Dubai, Fujairah and Sharjah — shooting in Bur Dubai, Jumeirah and Rola Square in Sharjah.

Pathemari is a story of Malayali expatriates who lived in the Gulf. Around 45 years ago, Malayalis reached the UAE through wooden boats. It’s their story — of how they reached here and built their lives from scratch,” said Dubai-based executive producer Hashik TK in an interview with tabloid!. He’s a legal consultant who was sold on the story right from the word go, and entered into co-production with Dubai-based businessman Sudeesh TP and director Ahmad’s production company.

The last time Ahmad directed and produced a film — Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam) — it went on to win 2011 National Awards in categories including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Background Score.

Pathemari brings to life the passage of time from 1930 to 2015, and is about two friends who travel from Kerala to the UAE. Mammooty is seen in four get-ups. First as a young man, then as a construction worker in the UAE, etc. Through their eyes, we want to show the history of the UAE and the relationship that India shares with the UAE,” said TK. While the portions set in the UAE have been wrapped up, the remaining parts will be filmed in Thrissur district in Kerala.

Pathemari also stars Dubai-based actors Nyla Usha and Mithun Ramesh and will serve as a launch pad for actor Siddique’s son Shaheen. Oscar-winning sound editor Resul Pookutty is also on board.

“We are planning to release the film in Kerala on May 1. Pathemari will resonate with every Malayali living in the Gulf and is a touching, emotional story,” said Hashik.

It’s not the first time that the UAE has been showcased in Malayalam films. Actor Srinivasan’s blockbuster Arabikkatha was shot extensively in the UAE and chronicled the life of a communist party worker here.