Kicks off his career

Fifteen-year-old Ajmal Khan has been learning the tough side of acting under stunt master Prakash and karate expert Shihan Hussaini. Ajmal incidentally is a Black Belt himself. Pasakkara Nanbargal will be his launch vehicle where he is paired with Divya (till recently, a child artiste). Ajmal's father Firose Khan has written the story, screenplay and dialogue, besides directing the film. Says Firose, “Kick-boxing is the central theme of the film in which Ajmal plays an orphan. He trains in the sport and aspires to become world renowned. Against all odds, Ajmal scores high in a world meet. How he does this and the challenges he faces form the plot of Pasakkara Nanbargal.” Crime file

Director Sanjayram is attempting a unique film, Karuvarai Kutravaligal, based on the lives of real-life criminals such as ‘Gate' Kumar, ‘Thotam' Sekar and 10 others. “A retired police officer will play himself in the film in which he narrates the stories of these 12 hardcore criminals. As each story unfolds, the criminals come to life; I have presented each person's story from a media perspective,” says Sanjayram.

Shot in Singapore

A full-length Tamil film shot in Singapore and Malaysia and just released in Chennai, Singayil Gurushetram chronicles the trials and tribulations of the protagonist Prakash and how he overcomes these in his mission to protect his mentally challenged brother from the Singapore underworld, drug barons and law breakers. The film is directed by newcomer T.T. Dhavamanni who has collaborated with many of his long-time associates, including Director of Photography, European Award winning cinematographer Lucas Jodogne, production designer Veeraraghavan, and Tamil Nadu State award-winning editor Praveen KL (Chennai 600028, Saroja, and Goa). The original score is by Rafee of Jaggubhai fame with Malaysian flautist Sesatre Silsila collaborating for the theme music and Sri Lankan rap artiste Dinesh Kanagaratnam collaborating for the theme song. The only song in the film is written by our own Karky.

Valentina's next

While still with Kingfisher Airlines as a Guest Relations Executive in Chennai airport, Trisha Alex was spotted by Gautham Vasudev Menon's assistant Meghna and roped in to do Simbu's sister in Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa. Not to be confused with the star of the same name, she changed hers to Valentina and signed up to do another supporting role in Venu Aravind's Sabash Sariyana Potti. “I am actually the hero's friend but people watching the film will assume that I am madly in love with him in a one-sided romance. I am now doing a lead role opposite Rahul in Paari directed by Rajini,” says Valentina. Incidentally, post-VTV, she reprised the same role in Telugu (as Nag Chaitanya's sister) and is scheduled to do the Hindi version, too.

Squash to screen

Computer science, national level squash and a fair amount of modelling in between have helped Komal Sharma (“I'm a true Chennai-ite though I hail from Rajasthan) bag a role in S. A. Chandrasekar's Sattapadi Kutram in which she is paired with Vikrant (actor Vijay's cousin). While the film has just hit the screens, Komal has already completed Udhari, directed by Shakti Krishna, where she is paired with Vinod of Naan Mahan Alla fame. Says Komal, “I have been getting a lot of offers but everyone has advised me to wait for the release of Sattapadi Kutram, before finalising any new project. It's a different kind of limelight compared to modelling and squash tournaments.”

Directorial debut

With over two decades of experience acting in TV serials, theatre and films, Venu Aravind now turns director with Sabash Sariyana Potti. “Having worked closely under stalwarts such as Balu Mahendra, K. Balachander and Mani Ratnam, not to forget Poornam Viswanathan (in theatre), I built up enough confidence to step into the director's shoes with my own story and screenplay for Sabash Sariyana Potti,” says Venu. Featured alongside him is Anjana Thamburatti, while Jayaram and Sriram have important roles in this light-hearted, offbeat film. “Watching these three great directors, I have learnt what not to do while making a film,” says Venu.

Keywords: Tamil cinema