It might be his first film but young gun Anand Shankar is making sure his voice is heard

Well, it’s official. Young filmmakers, 20-something and making their first films, no longer have to agonise regarding shoestring budgets and the fact that no big name, star or technician, wants to sign up. Increasingly, money, technical know how and the best acting talent are becoming available to these young Turks even for a debut film. Take the case of 26-year-old Anand Shankar, a former first assistant of A.R. Murugadoss. His debut film Arima Nambi featuring Kumki-fame Vikram Prabhu and Priya Anand in the lead roles, is almost ready and Shankar can’t wait to take flight.

From the little one could glean from the slickly edited trailer, Arima Nambi seems like a standard cat-and-mouse plot with a number of action setpieces. “What you see in the trailer is actually the story. The entire film is on the mystery surrounding the girl that he meets casually one night,” says Anand.

Why did he think Vikram Prabhu was the right choice for a film high on action? “The script is apt for an actor who is trying to shed his image and become an action hero. In this film, Vikram Prabhu will be seen in a more urban avatar, completely different from the rustic boy he played in Kumki. It will be a good makeover for him,” says Anand.

Has he ever felt that his ideas aren’t taken seriously because he is too young? “It didn’t happen with me. I had the advantage of being identified as Murugadoss’ first assistant. The producer of Arima Nambi had already seen my work when he made Thuppakki, which was directed by Murugadoss. At the end of the day, it deals with whether you can convince the producer that your story will sell and that you can deliver what you promise,” says Anand.

Did he write his first film as an ‘action’ flick because it’s easier to sell? “The idea was to make an exciting film in which the plot points are plausible and the hero doesn’t violate the laws of physics when fighting the bad guys.”

How did he deal with creative differences, especially when it came from a senior cinematographer such as R.D. Rajasekhar and composer Sivamani? “Getting your work done without really being combative is something I learnt from Murugadoss. Obviously, I take their inputs seriously but at the same time I have made sure that the film sticks to my vision.”