Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi talks about her experience of making her first film Vanakkam Chennai, a rom-com

Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi may belong to one of the most influential families in Tamil Nadu, but didn’t have it easy when she wanted to become a filmmaker with Vanakkam Chennai, a romantic comedy starring Mirchi Shiva, Santhanam and Priya Anand. “I approached many producers just to see how they responded to my narration. Most of them found it interesting, but were hesitant to produce my film for a number of reasons,” she smiles. “The positive response my script elicited from the producers was instrumental in Udhayanidhi backing the project. That’s not all. He made me revise the script several times before saying yes to it.”

The idea to become a filmmaker, she says, occurred to her a couple of years ago. “Once I knew I wanted to do films, I decided to get acquainted with the basics of screenwriting. I attended the screenwriting workshop conducted by Kamal Haasan, watched a lot of films and read books on writing,” she says.

Directing a full-length feature film without the experience of having worked on a movie is not easy. But, Kiruthiga claims that it has its own advantages. “I don’t think I have been influenced by any particular style,” she says.

The tricky part for any first-timer is to choose a subject that is neither too ambitious nor too mainstream. “Vanakkam Chennai is a romantic comedy. Ever since Anirudh stepped in, it has also become a musical,” she says. Reiterating that Vanakkam Chennai won’t belong to the category of films where the lead pair simply mouth funny and, sometimes vulgar, one-liners to make people laugh, she says, “Though Santhanam and Shiva appear in the film for the majority of its running time, Priya Anand has an equally important role. Also, you won’t find any silly jokes on women.”