Among the list of the National Award winners this year is actor-writer-director Arun Shankar who has won the 63rd National Award – Special Jury Mention for his directorial debut ‘The Chameleon’. That the 27-year-old also happens to be the first person in the history of National Awards to win the coveted honour after handling three portfolios (actor, writer, director) in the same film is an added triumph. Thrilled with winning the honour for his very first film as a director, Arun exclaims, “It was a unique experiment that paid off! The National Awards are one of the biggest awards and the honour comes as a huge encouragement and a boost to my creativity to keep doing better work.”

Having made his acting debut in the Malayalam feature film ‘Camel Safari’ in 2013, the actor who is also a popular model in the ad world, reveals that he decided to take the plunge into direction after he realized that he had a story to tell. “I am primarily an actor. But after I wrote the story, it was looking like a long wait to get the right director on board. So instead of waiting for things to happen, I just decided to direct the film myself,” says Arun.

Talking about his English fiction film, Arun shares that the story is about a man suffering from a bipolar personality and how his picture-perfect life suddenly changes in a split second. “It’s quite an experimental film and I am elated with the acknowledgement it’s been getting,” he says, adding that he is now also looking at bringing his unique ideas to Bollywood. “I am considering Hindi films for sure, as I already have some interesting scripts that are well-suited to the commercial sensibility of Bollywood,” he shares.