She made her Bollywood debut with Ram Gopal Varma’s Department and followed it up with Bhooth Returns. Thereafter, Madhu Shalini did several films in Telugu and Tamil (Pazhaniappa Kalloori, Pathinaru and Avan Ivan). What next? “I have been offered a a heroine-centric film in Tamil. This was supposed to start in December, but there has been a delay. Meanwhile, a Hindi film has come my way. Currently, my Telugu film Poga with Navdeep as the hero, directed by Shankar Marthand, is getting ready for release. I hope the Tamil film will be ready to roll immediately after I complete work on the Hindi project,” says Madhu who prioritises her projects based on the script and her role in it. “Having been born in Hyderabad, my Telugu and Hindi are perfect. During the making of Pathinaru and Avan Ivan, I perfected my Tamil and even dubbed my portions. I suppose I have a flair for languages,” adds Madhu.

Between you and me

Regional films in the North seem to have become a favourite hunting ground for our filmmakers — the probable reason being the high cost involved in acquiring the remake rights of Hindi films. The rights of the hit Marathi film Mumbai Pune Mumbai have been acquired by Nisha Neha Productions, and the script has been tweaked to suit the tastes of the Tamil audience by director Kanmani. This is Kanmani’s second outing after Aaha Ethanai Azhagu. Titled Nee Naan Mattum, it features new faces Yashwin and Nikita Narayan in the lead. “I liked the concept of the original which is different from several romantic films of today. My version retains the essence of the original storyline. Nee Naan Mattum is a feel-good romantic film with an interesting twist in the climax. It traces what happens in the course of a day in the lives of the lead characters, a Chennai-based girl who lands up in Madurai and a local lad,” says Kanmani.

More of Siddarth

After making waves with the Balaji Mohan-directed Kadhalil Sodappuvadhu Yeppadi in which he was paired with Amala Paul, Siddarth is eagerly awaiting the release of Vetrimaran’s NH4. The actor, who made his debut with Shankar’s Boys, says, “You will get to see more of me in 2013. I have always treasured my films in Tamil. At the same time, I owe a lot to the Telugu film industry which has given me several big hits. For a change, I’d like to entertain the Tamil audience next year. I have signed up for another film, Sundar C’s Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. I am also on the verge of finalising two more films in Tamil.”

A sensitive issue

His track record includes Ennavalae (Madhavan-Sneha), Junior Senior (Mammooty) and Velai (Vignesh). Director J. Suresh is now making Paraseega Mannan where he plays the hero, and Sruthi Lakshmi, the heroine. Sruthi has acted in several Malayalam films opposite Mammooty, Mohanlal and Dileep. “Paraseega Mannan is about child-trafficking. Why such a crime is prevalent in society, how families get affected and what preventive measures can be taken have been explored in the film,” says Suresh. There are four songs composed by the director himself under the guidance of Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film is scheduled for release this month.

An unusual premise

Apart from taking care of the story, screenplay, dialogue and direction, KPS Akshay dons the role of the hero in Unakku 20 Enakku 40. S. Siva plays the second hero. Keeping them company are Shalini and Amrutha. “The story is about two friends who are college mates. Amrutha who frequently visits Shalini’s house falls in love with her father. Is it just infatuation? Does he reciprocate her love? What are the consequences of this relationship? The film deals with all this and more,” says Akshay.