Bharathiraja has produced a lot of films that he’s directed. In a first, he is all set to produce a film to be directed by someone else. Director Agathiyan has been signed to direct the film, whose music will be scored by N.R. Ragunanthan. Says the music director, “I am happy to be scoring music for ace director Bharathiraja’s production. And, even happier that the film’s going to be directed by one of my favourite directors Agathiyan. It’s encouraging to be working with such legends in the early stages of my career. The composing is on, and it has been an enriching experience.” Meanwhile, we hear that Bharathiraja has plans to produce two more films.

A new perspective

A. Balakrishnan, the Chennai-based director of Welcome Back Gandhi, is eagerly awaiting the release of this Hindi film. The film will be premiered worldwide on January 26, and released in theatres on January 30 — Gandhi’s death anniversary and Martyr’s Day. Says the director, “The film will premiere at Porbandar, his birthplace, and will be released in at least 20 places such as London, Johannesburg, Malaysia, Singapore, Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai. We are looking at bringing in Gandhi’s grand daughter for the premiere in South Africa.”

The film, to be dubbed in many other Indian languages, is not another real-life story of Gandhi. It revolves around The Father of the Nation getting disgusted at the sad state of affairs in the country, and his waging a war of satyagraha against erring politicians and industrialists. It ends with a strong positive note on the creation of Ramrajya (the Kingdom of God), which was his dream. Anupam Kher has played a Gandhian Chief Minister in the film, while Gandhi is played by Gandhian S. Kanakaraj. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja has composed the film’s music. Apparently, the composer and the film’s sound engineer Uttam Singh did not charge for their contribution. The film is produced by Ramana Communications.

Different roles

Two veteran comedy actors are busy with films in which they play the lead — Gaundamani in 49-0 and Vadivelu in Bujabala Jagajala Thenaliraman. The former is a slapstick comedy, directed by Arokiadoss, who worked as an assistant to Gautam Vasudev Menon. The film revolves around a farmer and his plight. In the latter, Vadivelu plays a dual role — as Thenaliraman and as king Krishnadevaraya. The two are also busy with a few other films as comedy actors.

Making the cut

Tamil film personalities are gaining national popularity, if the recently released 2013 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list is anything to go by. While A.R. Rahman is in the 16th place, Suriya is in the 33rd spot, Kamal Haasan in the 47th and Vijay in the 49th. Prabhu Deva gets spot 90. As for top spot, Shah Rukh Khan has bagged it; he is followed by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Actor Salman Khan is in the third and recently retired cricketer Sachin Tendulkar gets the fourth spot. Amitabh Bachchan takes the fifth place.