National award caps debutant director's success

A still from the movie Aaranyakandam  

From making a mark in international film festivals to receiving the ‘Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director', young director Thiagarajan Kumararaja seems to have completed the circle.

His ‘Aaranya Kaandam', along with ‘Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai' (Best popular film providing wholesome entertainment) and ‘Vaagai Sooda Va' (Best Tamil film), has left a lasting impression on the jury for the National Film Awards this year.

Responding to the honour announced on Wednesday, director Kumararaja says, “I'm happy, but would have been happier if a few others in our team like those who worked on music and cinematography had also received awards,” he said. All the same, it is heartening that this film was chosen, he said.

“I can imagine what a hard time the jury would have had convincing others. It is quite a negative film, almost amoral. This award will possibly encourage film makers to consider themes outside what is conventionally seen as acceptable,” he said. All the same, Pravin K.L. and Srikanth from team ‘Aaranya Kaandam' bagged the award for best editing.

K. Hariharan, filmmaker and director of LV Prasad Film & TV Academy who was a central jury member this year, said the films have changed the image of Tamil cinema. “Last year ‘Aadukalam' did that, this year these three remarkable films have made everyone look at Tamil cinema with great respect,” he said.

Mr. Hariharan said the jury was simply bowled over by the class of ‘Aaranya Kaandam' and the brilliant editing by Pravin K.L. and Srikanth.

“That film is a fine example of maturity and understanding of the craft. It's about boldly engaging with violence in a highly structured manner.”

“Until now, it was largely Bollywood films that won an award in the popular film category. ‘Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai' is a refreshing entrant to the list. It is a huge departure from prevalent styles in the industry, adopting almost a fable-like narrative that impressed us. Similarly, ‘Vaagai Sooda Va' was very refreshing,” Mr. Hariharan said. Director of ‘Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai' Suseendran is delighted.

“The credit goes to producer Madhan who placed his trust on us and the entire team. Many of my friends and colleagues were sceptical about my choice of Appukutti to play the protagonist, but his receiving the Best Supporting Actor award only goes to show that I was 200 per cent right,” he said.

Appukutti, describing the day as “most unforgettable in life”, said: “This would not have been possible but for our director,” he said. ‘Vaagai Sooda Va' director Sargunam attributed the success to the team's hard work.

Actor-director Revathy received the award for ‘Best film on family values' for ‘Red Building where the Sun Sets'. The 17-minute film was made for an organisation in Bangalore.

“It looks at how a child is affected when his or her parents fight…the film was for parents' viewing and the script came out well,” she said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:01:59 PM |

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