For debut director Prabhu Raja Cholan, Karuppampatti is an ambitious project. Having learnt the art of direction from FTII and gained valuable experience under director Shankar during the making of Anniyan and Sivaji, Prabhu was inspired by a recent incident where a person returned to India in search of his roots. “The first half of the story, set in 1980, is about a youth (Ajmal) hailing from Karuppampatti village. He comes to the city to pursue his education and then migrates to France. There he meets Alice Vergani (an Italian model in real life), marries her and has a son. Cut to 2013, and we see their son (Ajmal again) who decides to come to India in search of his roots. He meets Aparna Bajpai and the story continues with its twists, turns and flashbacks.” A highlight of the film is a disco song set in the Eighties, ‘Naughty Raja Raja,’ sung by Bappi Lahiri for composer Kannan. Yet another interesting aspect is a 20-minute sequence with French dialogues and no subtitles. “The scenes have been shot in such a manner that the audience will understand every nuance without knowing French,” explains Prabhu. The film’s trailer is scheduled to be released by Bappi Lahiri on February 21.

Crossover artiste

Actor Kajal Aggarwal has gained a strong foothold in the southern film industry. She has also done a couple of Hindi films, Singam 2 with Ajay Devgan and Special 26 with Akshay Kumar, thereby managing to bridge the North-South divide. “In the current scenario, there is so much crossover happening. Actors, directors and technicians are travelling back and forth, working in films of different languages. Films are getting dubbed and remade. I think the barriers have been broken down which is a good thing for actors like me from the North who get accepted in the South,” says Kajal.

Double dose of fun

Director Arun Vaidyanathan (Achchamundu! Achchamundu!) now has twin responsibilities — while he is producing Kalyana Samayal Saadham (KSS) in Tamil, he is directing Malayalam star Mohanlal in the comedy, Peruchaazhi. In KSS, to be directed by award winning short filmmaker R. S. Prasanna, actor Prasanna is paired with Lekha Washington. A laugh riot, Kalyana Samayal Saadham centres around a big fat South Indian wedding. Meanwhile, Arun’s Malayalam film is set in the U.S. Mohanlal who read the script was said to be bowled over by the novel idea and Arun was excited when the actor agreed to play the lead. Arun says, “I am a huge fan of Mohanlal’s humour and he is perfect for the role”. Interestingly, the female lead will be played by an American actress for whom the search is on.

Norway Tamil Film Festival

The organisers of the Norway Tamil Film Festival (NTFF), Oslo, have announced a short film contest. According to Vaseeharan Sivalingam, Festival Director, and Dr. S. Shankar, Festival Coordinator, NTFF, February 25 is the last date for submitting entries — short films, documentaries and music videos. For rules and regulations, log in to www.ntff.no. The Norway Tamil Film Festival 2013 is an independent initiative of Tamil cinema lovers living in Norway and other parts of the world. The festival will be held from April 24 to 28, 2013.