It's been nearly two years since the release of the sleeper hit “Subramaniapuram”. The film marked M. Sasikumar's debut as director and actor.

He then went on to star in that ode to friendship, “Nadodigal”, a box-office bonanza, and produced “Pasanga”, which struck gold at the turnstiles and became the darling of film festivals.

Now, he's back with “Easan”, starring his friend Samudirakani.

Excerpts from an interview with the man who has changed the way people and the market perceive small-budget films.

Tell us something about your new film?

It has director Samudirakani in the lead along with Abinaya and new face Aparna. Samudirakani plays a police officer.

Producer A.L. Alagappan,Vaibhav, Thulasi and Namo Narayanan form the rest of the cast. S.R. Kathir is the cinematographer, while James Vasanthan has scored the music. I've written, directed and produced the movie.

Wasn't Vikram to produce a film directed by you?

We talked about it, but later, I decided to produce this one myself. There are no hard feelings between us, and we may team up for another film.

Why is Sasikumar the actor missing in this film?

I feel I can do a better job as a director.

However, I play the main role in Samudirakani's “Poorali”.

What's the storyline like? And when is the film due for release?

I've finished shooting, and post-production work is to begin soon.

My first film was a village subject; this one's based on city life.

Why did it take you this long to title your film?

After writing the script, I decided on a few titles, but later thought I would name it after shooting is over. There were rumours that it is to be titled “Nagaram”, but I zeroed in on “Easan”.

Tell us something about the star cast?

When “Subramaniapuram” was being made, we decided that Abinaya will be the heroine in the next film I direct; she's done a good job. Samudirakani, my good friend, has turned in a nice performance too.

You seem to be comfortable working with known people…

I'm happy to work with anybody provided the character's good. For instance, “Nadodigal”.

May be, I can try working with others sometime next year!

Keywords: EasanM. Sashi Kumar