The lines between theatre, television and films are getting blurred with constant migration of actors from one medium to another. For Rishi, an Anandathandavam may not have done wonders, but Payanam drew directors' attention towards him. But Rishi feels that it was his ‘Deal or No Deal' and now, ‘Kayyiloru Kodi' on Sun TV that has helped him get film assignments. Rishi's next film Nandanam, directed by Shyamalan, where he is teamed with Shivaji and Mitra is half complete. But, his heart is in TV. “I want to bring about a change in the way TV shows are hosted. Tamil audiences are very mature and Sun TV has encouraged me a lot to adopt innovative ways of presentation that makes the audience feel that they are part of the sets and show. For actors like me, cross-medium audiences will be a huge benefit,” says Rishi.
His first film Bale Pandiya released in 2010 and now Gibran is keenly awaiting the release of his second film, Unnodu Oru Naal, which has been a long time in the making due to some unforeseen developments. “The film's director Durai Karthikeyan died in an accident and his associate Shakti had to take over the reins. There were some problems again and the project almost got stalled; the sheer strength of the script saved the film for the producers. And now, it is all set to release,” says Gibran who stars alongside newcomer Neelam, a model from Mumbai and Arjun, from the television industry. “It is a musical thriller and my role is a performance oriented one,” says Gibran who is a well-known face on the small screen. “ I am still in the process of learning and trying to understand how to work with different directors. I keep attending workshops to hone my acting skills. I am reading scripts and would love to work with a team that I am comfortable with, irrespective of whether the role is big or small.”
Language, no bar
In South India, there seems to be no language barrier with Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films getting released in theatres across the states. Many actors do films in all the three languages, thereby gathering a large fan following. Cinematographer-turned-director Santhosh Sivan's Malayalam film Urumi has got the rightly deserved push into the international arena with producer-distributor Kalaipuli S Thanu buying the world rights. The film stars Prithivi Raj, Prabhu Deva, Arya, ‘Madraspattinam' Alex, Genelia, Vidya Balan and Dabu in prominent roles. “Urumi is a mega budget movie that will release before Vijay-starrer Thuppaki, which is under production in my banner. I am sure people will like Urumi and my responsibility to take the film to cinema lovers,” says Thanu. “Audience will get to see a different Arya, who has come up with a splendid performance.”
Actor Shyam may not have met with super success in Tamil films, but is gaining a foothold in Telugu cinema. One of his recent releases, Veera is being dubbed and released in Tamil as Veerayya. Shyam, in the role of an honest police officer, is being targeted by the family of a local thug whom he had arrested in an encounter. The thug's brother, murders Shyam's son and threatens to kill his daughter too. In the process of providing security for his family, Shyam comes across a security professional, Ravi Teja. But, Shyam's wife, Sreedevi Vijayakumar suspects Ravi to be a mole. Shyam investigates to unearth the truth and save his family. Kajal Agarwal plays a crucial role, too.
She is not a movie star nor does she wield the megaphone, but she sure is a crucial factor for you and me to watch cinema qualitatively. Archana Kalpathi is the CEO of AGS Cinemas that provides quality film viewing experience. She is the daughter of Kalpathi S Aghoram of the film producing conglomerate, AGS Entertainment that has produced films such as Avan Ivan, Velloor Mavattam and the forthcoming Maatran. “AGS Cinemas' wants even people in the far flung areas to experience this. And, we believe in building our own multiplexes so that we have total control over screening of the movies at our own pace and time, along with food courts and other facilities. We have installed the best projection and sound systems along with international quality seating arrangements in all our theatres. We are currently running five screens at Villivakkam and four at the OMR centre which is the only one inside a mall — the Coromandel Plaza,” says Archana. AGS's next venture will be at Poonamallee, followed by GST Road and G N Chetty Road where there are no good theatres presently.”