Prasanna turns to film music
Sound knowledge of Carnatic music and exposure to global genres have given internationally renowned guitarist Prasanna yet another territory to explore — film music. He is composing the music for Balaji Sakthivel's Vazhakku Enn 18/9. “I do what comes naturally to me. There is a song called ‘Oru Kural' in the movie, for which Argentinian singer Sofia Tosello, Venezuelan cuatro player Juancho Herrera, American pianist Victor Gould, Argentinian bassist Andres Rotmistrovsky, Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth and myself on the guitar interacted in the studio. I then added Indian flautist Kamalakar and accomplished singer Karthik to the team. You can catch the strains of Argentinean folk, Brazilian Jazz, African and other Latin American styles in this melody in Tamil. Accompanied by good visuals, the song has come out well,” says Prasanna.
All in the name?
Will a change of name bring better luck? Suja thinks so. After her initial outings in Tamil with films such as Kasthuriman, Milaka and Solla Solla Inikkum, and Telugu with Aaptharaksha and Nagavalli, Suja added Varunee to her name to make a comeback in K-town. “In the initial years, I took up whatever came my way because of family responsibility. But now, I look forward to doing some good films. I am happy I am doing director Athiyaman's Amali Thumali opposite Shantanu. The other films are Thappu Thaalangal and director Vetriveeran's Kadhal Theevu,” says Suja who has now made Chennai her home to ensure she gives all her time to the movies at hand.
For both a debutant actor and a star, it is difficult to do a role with negative shades. If for the former, it is the fear of getting typecast, for the latter it is that of losing his image. Producer-Director Arvind Ramalingam encountered this while on his hunt for a hero for his forthcoming Karma. Consequently, Arvind has turned to the Internet and social media for his talent hunt. He has challenged aspiring actors, who are bold enough to play such a role, to send their pictures and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. “The short-listed videos will be uploaded to the Karma Facebook page where friends, fans and the public can ‘like' the actor. Those who get the maximum votes will be invited for auditions after which the cast will be finalised,” says Arvind. He has received more than 1300 entries as on January 31, while there have been more than 5000 followers and 2.70 visitors to the FB page. An added incentive for the short-listed actors is they will be featured in campaigns of some brands that will be associated with the film. The last date for receiving entries is February 7, 2012.
Pat for Simbu and Varu
According to Gemini Films, Poda Podi is Simbu's most expensive project and, hopefully, his best. The film travels through three phases of a boy and girl's life. Poda Podi is being entirely shot in London, capturing two different seasons, and some hitherto unexplored regions in the country. While Simbu reportedly carries the film on his shoulders, no less credit is given to the performance of Varalakshmi Sarathkumar in her debut role. Being veteran actor Sarathkumar's daughter, acting seems to be in Varu's (as she is known) genes. A theatrical production which she co-produced and acted in, “Mamma Mia” has honed her acting and dancing skills. Dancer-actor Shobana plays a dance school owner with dancer-choreographer Jeffery Vardon playing the dance instructor with a villainous streak.
Fittingly, music director Dharan has composed some mind-blowing songs for Poda Podi.