For many new directors, the route to making a feature film is through short films. After last year's Idukkan and this year's Pesum Virus, director Hari Viswanath is gearing up for a group-funded Tamil feature film “which is more on the lines of a world movie'. Meanwhile, Hari's Pesum Virus has been screened several times in the Short Films Corner at Cannes, this year. “Pesum Virus is about the consequences of speaking on the mobile phone while driving. The protagonist, played by Sricharan, is an auto driver who meets with an accident when his phone slips off his hand and he instinctively reaches down to retrieve it. He loses a limb and cannot drive anymore. Part of the 5-minute short film is in flashback mode and the scenes are a grim reminder to all of us about the ill-effects of speaking on the phone while driving. I plan to send the film to other festivals such as the Sundance and the ones in Goa and the Netherlands,” informs Hari. Sricharan is quite excited about this effort. “I was quite taken up by the script and the fact that an important message is built into it. The interesting aspect was how to fit emotions into a five-minute film, which was challenging, to say the least,” says Sricharan.

Serving up Biriyani

Alex Pandian might not have spelt success for Karthi, but his upcoming Biriyani under the direction of Venkat Prabhu could prove to be a sumptuous meal for audiences. The All in All Azhagu Raja (a forthcoming film of Karthi) is portraying a stylish character paired with Hansika Motwani in Venkat’s romantic comedy thriller. Providing the rib-ticklers is Venkat's brother and camp regular, Premgi. Says Karthi: “Life is hectic now with both All in All Azhagu Raja and Biriyani happening simultaneously. My role in Biriyani is a very stylish one… well, that’s for the viewers to say, anyway. Venkat is a cool guy and quite modern in his outlook. This has translated into a slick, city-centric film and hopefully, there will be a newer set of audiences for me. The music is very trendy too. For music director Yuvan Shankar Raja, Biriyani will be a landmark film and he touches the century mark with it.”

YSR’s title song ‘Biriyani’ is already a hit with its distinct hip-hop flavour, sung by Tanvi Shah, Bhavatharini and Vilasini. Interestingly, Venkat Prabhu’s father Gangai Amaren has written the Tamil lyrics with Tanvi contributing the English sections. The film’s tagline is: A Venkat Prabhu diet, and one can be assured of a wholesome meal with Biriyani.

Gautham’s hands are full

Acting is in his blood. With grandfather Muthuraman and father Karthik having made significant strides in cinema, it was but natural that Gautham Karthik would take to the silver screen like a fish to water. Gautham who had a dream launch with Mani Ratnam’s Kadal has three films in different stages of completion. There is director Saravanan’s Sippai where he is paired with Lakshmi Menon, director Ravi Thyagarajan’s Ennamo Edho with Rakul Preet Singh and director Aishwarya Dhanush’s Vai Raja Vai with Priya Anand as his co-star. Currently Gautham is shooting simultaneously for Ennamo Edho and Sippai at Hyderabad, following which the Aishwarya project will go on floors. Gautham has signed yet another film for Kalaipuli Thanu which will be directed by his son Prabhu.