Jiiva all the way

Since his debut as a child actor in 1996, Jiiva has done a variety of roles in 14 films, and has a clutch of interesting projects in hand. “The first up for release is Singam Puli, in which I have a double role. Then, there's Ko and Rowthiram,” says Jeeva. And, there's the special appearance in Arya's Boss Engira Bhaskaran. “I wonder how that news got out, as we wanted it to be a surprise,” he says.

Meanwhile, the actor has signed up for Vanthaan Vendraan. Directed by R. Kannan (Jeyam Kondan, Kanden Kadhalai), the film is about love and emotions, and comes with liberal doses of entertainment. “It has been conceived of as a family entertainer with clean dialogues, scenes and screenplay. The highlight will be the music by Thaman,” says Kannan. Playing Jiiva's love interest is Taapsee, a Punjabi girl who was last seen in Aadukalam. Will Jiiva's next be the remake of 3 Idiots? Watch this space.

Brand Venkat

When the family abounds in talented people — think Ilaiyaraaja, Gangai Amaren, Premgi Amaren, Karthik Raja, Yuvan Shankar Raja and others, there was no way Venkat Prabhu would have settled into a job commensurate with his educational qualifications from the U.K.

He decided the film industry was where he wanted to make his mark, as a director. And, he has done that with gusto — remember Chennai 28, Saroja and Goa? Now, Venkat is on to a big project produced by Cloud Nine — Ajith Kumar's 50th film, titled Mangaatha.

How different is this going to be? “I try to make every movie different in content and presentation. Chennai 28 was about sports, Saroja was a thriller and Goa, a romantic comedy. The common factor in all these was the streak of comedy. But, Mangaatha will be a serious action film with very little comedy,” says Venkat.

Making a mark

She is a big star in Telugu films, and created waves when she acted in the Tamil Rendu, Vettaikkaran and Singam. Anuskhka is currently shooting for Vaanam with STR and Bharath as her co-stars. After the super success of Telugu films Arundathi and Panchakshri, the latter is being dubbed into Tamil as Panchamukhi. Directed by Samudra, the film will no doubt keep the curiosity alive amongst Anushka's Tamil fans.

The road back home

At a time when the Tamil film industry is busy importing heroines from all over, our own export to Bollywood has quietly made significant inroads back home. Asin has bagged a plum role in Vijay's 51st film Kaavalan (or, is it Kaavalkaaran?), a remake of the Malayalam hit Bodyguard. After Sivakasi and Pokkiri, this is the third film with Vijay and Asin in the lead.

For Asin, this is a comeback of sorts after the 2008 Dasavatharam. Meanwhile, her Hindi project, Ready, with Salman Khan is about half complete. What next? Says Asin: “I had committed to Kaavalan almost three years ago and when the project was finalised, I readily accepted. I have been doing alternate schedules of Ready and Kaavalan; now, it will be a shoot to the finish, as the producers are keen on a Deepavali release. The shoot for Ready will resume in September and will finish by December. Thereafter, I have signed another significant film in Bollywood, which will be formally announced in January.”