Festivals used to mean at least half-a-dozen film releases. However, this scene has changed in the last couple of years. This is mainly because big-budget films get priority over small-budget ones when it comes to theatrical release. Thankfully, this year, there will be two Tamil releases on Pongal eve and one on Pongal. S.R. Ashok Kumar presents a sneak peek at the festival line-up

Veeram

Cast: Ajith Kumar, Tamannaah, Santhanam, Bala, Vidharth, Munish, Suhail, Ramesh Khanna, Appukutty, ‘Nadodigal’ Abhinaya, Manochithra

Director: Siva

Music director: Devi Sri Prasad

Cinematography: Vetri

Director's cut

When the producer and I decided to do the film with Ajith Kumar, we first finalised the day of its release. The second aspect was to bring families to the theatre. We want to show Ajith in a new light and make the film an entertaining Pongal fare for the audience. Since I am basically a cinematographer, we have brought together beautiful visuals and enchanting music to add to Ajith’s presence. One interesting feature of the film is that Ajith appears in a dhoti after a long while.

Jilla

Cast: Vijay, Mohanlal, Kajal Aggarwal, Suri, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Mahath, Niveditha, Sampath and Thambi Ramaiyah

Director: R.T. Nesan

Music director: D. Imman

Cinematography: Ganesh Rajavelu

Director’s cut

Around two years ago, I told the story of Jilla to Vijay, and he liked it very much. In fact, he planned everything — he got me the producer and also brought in actor Mohan Lal. He’s even sung a song and also saw to it that I got to make the movie as I desired. I have given the movie my best, and I hope for its box-office success.

Kalavaram

Cast: Sathyaraj, Ajai Raghav, Kutti, Yasser, Thanikala Bharani, Nantha, Saravanan, Suji Bala, Raj Kapoor, Mayilsamy, Lavanya, Inba Nila

Director: S.D. Ramesh Selvam

Music director: M.S. Faisal

Cinematography: P. Chandran

Director’s cut

Kalavaram is the story of a group of persons planning to destroy peace in society. It is based on a real incident. Kalavaram strives to provide a solution to such problems. I have also thrown light on a few of the families affected by the incident. One of the highlights of the film is that ‘Gana’ Bala has not written and sung, but also acted in the film.