The success of ‘Bhadram’ reinforces director Ramesh’s belief that short films are useful to catapult one into feature films

Though S. Ramesh had not worked as an assistant director for any banner, he made seven short films that were all sent to a short film competition in Kaliagnar TV. After multiple rounds of competition, the director emerged the winner.

Based on this experience he came up with his first feature film made on a small budget; it was released in the last week of February in Chennai. Thegidi (Deception) is running to packed houses and has been dubbed as Bhadram. With no regrets that he left his cushy job in an IT company; Ramesh is waiting anxiously for the audience verdict in Andhra Pradesh. Ask him the difference between working for a short film and a feature film, he explains, “The confidence level obviously goes high. For a short film we have to develop the five minute long content and incorporate some punch or strong message in the climax to hold the audience interest in the last few minutes. In a feature film the screenplay varies, we have to keep the audience engaged from the first minute to the last, which is a challenge.”

Ramesh observes that talented people who don’t have a platform to showcase their skills can now develop a portfolio using short films. “Directors like us need not waste time hunting for fresh technicians and cast, we can see such films and select them. It is a good way of getting into films. But not all short filmmakers enter the industry. However there are people like Nawazuddin Siddique who do short films out of passion for content; they don’t consider whether it is a short film or a feature film.

Why did Ramesh choose a thriller fro his debut Bhadram? The auteur says that’s because he hasn’t come across any detective stories in the past three or four years. This one is fresh and different.

In the film, the hero — after studying criminology — joins a detective agency and the project creates a conflict. He avers, “To engage the audience through the film is very important. When I did some research on the net, I noticed each short film had some social element and I was inspired by it. I included it in the court plot and it kind of turned gripping. This story is a suspense thriller and has Ashok Selvan and Janani Iyer playing the lead. Ashok had earlier worked in Soodhu Kavvum, Villa 2 and Pizza. The character required someone who appears very analyticaland he fit the bill. We roped in Janani Iyer as she was cute and innocent. The pair was refreshing.”

He reveals , “Thegdi 2 All the people who directed the hit films last year or so like Pizza, Soodhu Kavvum , Villa, Pannaiyurum Padminyum and now Thegidi (Bhadram have been short filmmakers earlier. Moodar Koodam also is a gripping drama, the trend of making films with short duration is surely catching up in Tamil cinema and one hopes filmmakers here too pick it up.”

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