Passion for Tamil films led Indian-born Australian citizen Mathivanan Sakthivel to write, produce, direct and play the lead in Maha Maha, a romantic thriller predominantly filmed in Australia. “The story is about a windmill engineer from India who goes to work in a little town in Australia. He falls in love with an Australian girl, who he later finds is being pursued by the local police. He himself becomes a suspect in a murder case. A lot of twists and turns lead to a suspenseful ending,” says Mathivanan. Melissa plays the lead, while known Tamil actors such as Nizhalgal Ravi and Anupama Kumar are part of the cast. “This is my first movie,” says Mathivanan, “and to pick up the basics I did a short course in filmmaking at the Australian Film Base in Sydney.” “The music is by Pavalar Siva, Ilaiyaraja’s nephew,” adds Mathivanan.

What does red signify?

Director Satyasiva has come up with a unique character in Sivappu, played by Rajkiran, to complement the lead roles played by Naveen Chandra and Rupa Manjari. Satyasiva has scripted the story based on the premise that red is not just a colour but represents various emotions. “In comparison to all the characters he has played earlier, Sivappu will showcase Rajkiran in a positive role. He plays a construction site supervisor. An accidental death that happens at the spot changes his outlook and he turns into a helpful father figure to all those he employs. In this scheme of things are the hero and the heroine, workers on the site who are romantically linked. But, the romantic episodes are just an aside in Sivappu where Rajkiran is the real hero,” Sivappu is awaiting an early release.

Ready for a comedy ride?

After gaining tremendous experience in the screenplay and dialogue departments as an assistant to director Nagaraj (remember Dinamthorum?), Kalaishankar has ventured into his first independently directed film, Kaadhal Panchayathu, which is currently in its post-production stage. Produced by Devan who has also donned the hero’s role under his new screen name, Right, the film is expected to be another comedy ride. “But,” says Kalaishankar, “there will be a lot of love and action and, most interestingly, the climax will provide a unique twist to the story.” Right is paired with Neha, in Kaadhal Panchayathu.