Director Kumarappa has taken up a relevant issue in his short film, `Kanavu Thozhirchaalai.'

Director Kumarappa's, `Kanavu Thozhirchaalai,' produced by Rey Talkies, is a short film that makes its point loud and clear. In case you think video piracy stops with turning producers into paupers, you are wrong. The anathema permeates to the lowest rung, right down to the poor man who sells snacks outside the cinema hall, says this 23-min ute short. With eats prepared from borrowed money a daily wage earner waits for the crowd to come out during intermission. But when most of them have watched pirated versions within days of a new film's release, those frequenting cinemas are naturally j ust about a handful. Dejected, he returns home, only to learn that his wife had watched a pirated CD of the film at the neighbour's. His pent up anger and frustration erupt and the consequences prove disastrous. Madhurakavi is the protagonist. Given a ch ance, this performer will shine in character roles. Incidentally, he is `Kanavu's dialogue writer too. "Producer Rey Muthu and I wanted an actor whom the audience will see only as the character. So we thought we would go in for faces hitherto not seen on screen. The film's cameraman A. Karuppiah introduced Madhurakavi to me. Even as I saw him cycling towards us at a wayside tea stall one evening I knew he would fill the bill," says Kumarappa. The director's inspiration and guide has been V. Prabhakar, t he dialogue writer of films such as ` Daya' and `Gurudeva.'

In a short span

`Kanavu Thozhirchaalai' was shot in just two days. "We did a lot of homework before we ac tually went for the shoot. When we began the film on December 15 last, I decided it will be ready for viewing on New Year's Day, and we've managed it quite easily," says Kumarappa. Generally, a short, you believe, is meant for festivals and has profound ideas often vaguely told. But the maker is clear about his target audience and only intends to screen it in regular theatres, before the main show. Kumarappa, (Ph: 94442 34299; e-mail: who has written the story and scre enplay and directed `Kanavu Thozhirchaalai,' believes in being forthright about his message — so forthright that you feel he could have toned down the intensity of the climax a little. Nothing in the linear narration is left unsaid. "I want the message to be hard-hitting. And I have made it like a full-fledged film. Except for the duration `Kanavu ... ' has the right pace, strong characterisations and myriad emotions as in a feature. My aim is to make it as a director and I'm confident that `K anavu ... ' will provide the entry," he smiles. After watching Kumarappa's poignant short, anyone with conscience would shun pirated CDs, thinking of the innumerable unknown faces whose very survival depends on big screen releases.