The success of sports-oriented films has inspired Tamil filmmakers to turn to sports-based themes. A look at four upcoming films...

Film buffs and sports enthusiasts are sure to have a field day as Tamil film directors are now eager to make sports-based movies.

Not a popular genre in filmmaking, films on sports were far and few between but with the success of Chennai 600028 and Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu directors and producers seem to have realised sport as a theme can be a huge draw at the box office.

At the moment, there are at least four sports-oriented films waiting to hit the screens apart from the ones that have already released. Interestingly, directors are not only looking to base the entire script on sports, they are also trying to create an awareness on the importance of getting youngsters to play.

Director Arivazhagan, whose Vallinam starring Nakul in the lead is nearing completion, says, “My film, which is on basketball, is an action-thriller. A country’s development is not only measured by its economic progress but also by the wellbeing of its citizens. And sport contributes immensely in developing one's personality and stamina.

The director, a gold medallist from the Madras Film Institute, whose first film Eeram was a thriller, admits that his decision to do a film on basketball was partly influenced by the success of films such as Chak De India and Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu.

“Apart from romance, sport subjects attract the youth as games symbolise energy and team spirit,” he says.

Veyilodu Vilayadu director N.V. Ramkumar concurs with Arivazhagan. Ramkumar’s film stars Mahesh of Angadi Theru fame and revolves around a volleyball player.

He says, “I want parents whose children are keen to pursue sports to allow them to do so.” The film is about a volleyball player, who does not have space to practise and how along with his friends he procures a ground. They go through a lot of difficulties in getting it but finally emerge as state-level champions. Ramkumar shot three matches in eight days in Coimbatore.

“Through my film I want to convey how difficult it is for children in rural areas to take up sports. There is so much talent but no proper infrastructure. We need to ensure villages and small towns have sporting facilities and coaches. Only then can we produce world champions,” he says.

Director Kalyanakrishnan, whose film Boologam has ‘Jayam’ Ravi in the lead, is about boxing. “Did you know that Chennai has a rich boxing culture,” asks the director. “I wanted to convey this through my film, which talks about families that have been practising this sport for many generations. And with support and encouragement, the city could have produced quite a few champions,” he rues.

Although they may be looking to emphasise different aspects of sports, these directors have one thing in common and that is best summed by director Arivazhagan, who says, “My primary intention may be to deliver a commercially successful film, deep down, I also hope that my film will help bring about a small change in the attitude of our society towards sport.”