Irfan was earlier seen as the hero in Sundaattam, directed by Brahma G. Dev. The actor will be seen again playing the lead in K. Guna’s Ethir Veechu. Extensively shot in Malaysia, the film largely revolves around the indoor football game known as Futsal. Irfan plays the captain of one of the teams. “Futsal, a 15-minute game, involving teams of 5 members each, is fast gaining popularity in Malaysia and is indulged in as a recreation mostly after office hours. The film also tries to bring out the fact that friendship is such a strong bond that it often transcends even love. It is this friendship that could see a lesser-known team led by Irfan taste success,” says director Guna.

Reality bites

Director Ilayadevan's narration of the script, primarily that of the central character in Gnanakirukkan, was so impressive that Daniel Balaji had no hesitation about signing up for the role. “It is based on a true incident that took place in a remote village in Tamil Nadu, almost 30 years ago,” says Daniel, who plays the role of a man who becomes mentally unstable after the birth of his child. The villagers treat him as an outcast and his only companion is a stray dog with whom he sometimes shares his meal. “In fact, as we shot the scene, where the man and dog share the same leaf, a few villagers on seeing it became emotional. I have met the man around whose life the film revolves. He still resides in the village and is now elderly. However, I couldn't interact with him as he is not in his senses,” says Daniel who is at present doing two Kannada films — Dove and Sivajinagara.

Ethnic notes

History states that in ancient times the yazh was a popular musical instrument among the Tamil people of Northeast Sri Lanka, particularly in the Yazhpanam (Jaffna) area. Says director M. S. Anand, an Australian Tamil who has written and directed the film Yazh: “The yazh was a musical instrument similar to the harp. It was used in the folk culture (song and dance) of Yazhpanam, which was very much akin to that of Tamil Nadu. In fact, it was a period in history where quite a few similarities between the culture of Jaffna and Madurai were observed. The musicians who played on the yazh were known as panargal, hence the name Yazhpanam for the locality which specialised in that art form. My movie is neither musical nor political as many would imagine because it is based in Sri Lanka. It revolves around three characters, who take the three major elements of the tale forward — suspense, romance and a journey. The setting is during the last stages of the ethnic strife in the island nation with the characters belonging to the Yazh community and the art form becoming a connecting thread.”