Wielding the megaphone
Mohan Sharma, one of the first South Indian actors to graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, has turned a director. His film, “Namma Graamam” a bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam, has won the National Award and the Kerala State awards this year. Says Mohan Sharma, who has acted in over 150 films: “The film is set in 1938, when the world was on the verge of World War II, and when India's Independence struggle was entering its decisive phase. In a village in the heart of South India are two communities — one matriarchal and the other patriarchal. And, trapped in a web of male tyranny and old world obscurantism, a little girl fights her own battle for freedom.” Balamurali Krishna won the best playback singer award from the Kerala government for the film. The film's cast includes Samvrutha, Nishan, Mohan Sharma, Nedumudi Venu, Y.G. Mahendra, Sukumari, Nalini, Fathima Babu, Renuka and Priya.
Best foot forward
Dance master Ashok Raja is on cloud nine — he's choreographed a song for “Velayudham” that is said to be one of the most expensively shot song sequences in recent times. “Over Rs. 2 crore has been spent on the song, which was shot over 10 days with 200 dancers,” says Raja.
About his journey in tinsel town, he says: “People in the industry fondly refer to me as the ‘opening song wonder' — I've choreographed the opening song in many films. I feel lucky and blessed to have made all leading Tamil and Telugu actors shake a leg.” Ashok Raja, who got a break in T. Rajendar's “Sonnal Dhaan Kadhala”, shot to fame with the song ‘O Podu'.
He has choreographed over 150 songs, and may soon do some Hindi films too.
Music director S.A. Raj Kumar is burning the midnight oil for his comeback film “Chokkali” in Tamil.
Produced by United Star Pictures, the film is directed by A. Sarana, and revolves around women getting cheated by men. The film's cast includes Chaithanya, new-find Jayaram, Swasika, ‘Ganja' Karuppu, Mohan Ram, Anjali Devi, Keerthi Reddy and Neethu.