Koozhangal director on movie selection as India’s Oscar entry
The goal was to make a simple movie: Vinothraj PS on the selection of Koozhangal as an entry to the Oscars of India

For rookie director Vinothraj PS, it’s a surreal moment to have his first movie Koozhangal represent India at the 94th Academy Awards next year. The Tamil drama follows a violent alcoholic husband who, after his long-suffering wife flees, leaves with his young son to find and bring her back.

After being a festival favorite and participating in several international film galas like the Shanghai International Film Festival and Los Angeles Indian Film Festival, Koozhangal was announced on Saturday as India’s official entry into the category of international feature films at the Oscars by the Film Federation of India. .

Starring newcomers Chellapandi and Karuththadaiyaan, the feature film titled Pebbles in English has already won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in February 2021.

Vinothraj PS said he was overwhelmed with the love for the film and expressed his gratitude to the members of the jury who selected his film from the 14 other films.

“It’s as if three years of effort is paying off now. We didn’t expect the film to be recognized at this level so we focused on making a film that was honest and straightforward. We had no expectations, although we were popular at festivals including Rotterdam.

“I’m overwhelmed and everyone in the team too. We are all excited and emotional. The real journey has now begun. We have to make sure that we create enough chances to be in the final nomination. We have started discussions and are planning things, ”the 33-year-old manager told PTI over the phone from Madurai.

Born in a village near the town of Melur in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district, Vinothraj said his love affair with films began after he began visiting sets from several films shot in his homeland.

“I wanted to be in the director of photography’s chair. This is how I developed an interest in films, ”said the writer-director.

But the difficult times of his childhood forced him to start working from an early age. He did several odd jobs, most notably as a salesman in a DVD store in Chennai, where he was introduced to world cinema.

“I saw cinema films from the world of Majid Majidi, Stanley Kubrick, among others almost every day and I understood what pure cinema is.

“I worked in this store thinking it would help me find points of contact in the industry, then I could help someone and start working. Soon I joined director A Sagunam and worked on some of his films. Then after a while I started writing the screenplay (from Koozhangal).

In 2018, Vinothraj started working on the film, produced by Tamil actor Nayanthara and filmmaker Vignesh Shivan.

The film was born from the personal experience of the director: one of his younger sisters was chased by her husband from her village to hers for 14 km after a quarrel ensued between the couple, he said. .

“… People here are so frustrated in their lives because of the drought and the lack of opportunities. This is reflected in their families and relationships. Male patriarchy existed very severely because of this frustration, ”he added.

The film is set in a village called Arittapatti near Melur and the director has started shooting in the scorching heat of May 2019, he explained.

Vinothraj PS, who admires veteran directors Balu Mahendra, Satyajit Ray and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, said where and when Koozhangal was filmed was as crucial as the story of the film.

“The film has three characters – one is the father, the child and the landscape. All these lands were rich in agriculture. There was no problem with the water. Later, he succumbed to the drought and caused a huge social imbalance in the lives of these people. This is what we wanted to address, ”he said.

But filming in real locations came with its fair share of challenges.

The director recalled how cameras often got stuck due to the extreme heat, and how the entire team had to walk barefoot to get a good feel for the story.

The film was partially finished before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but the team needed someone to take over the entire production.

Looking for a collaborator, they knocked on the doors of the NFDC Film Bazaar, a platform created and organized to encourage collaboration between South Asian and international film communities.

“The NFDC had invited director Ram, who won a national award in 2013 for his film Thanga Meengal, as a guest for one of the conferences. We met him and told him about the movie, which he loved. Then Vignesh Sivan and Nayanthara saw the film and they resumed production because they believed in it, ”Vinothraj said.

After hosting a festival for about a year, the director said they were playing with the idea of ​​releasing Koozhangal around December. However, the film could get an early release.

“We think that with the release of Koozhangal in theaters, we should be able to create a market for more films like this. This (Oscars) is something huge. The pressure is not too great. because we are happy to be recognized. It is a good feeling, “he added.

Bigg Boss Tamil 5
Kamal Haasan returns as host for the fifth time

The new season of Bigg Boss Tamil returns to our living rooms just nine months after last season. Usually the new season starts in June and ends in September. The outbreak of the pandemic, however, upset the regular schedule of the show. The fourth season didn’t end until January. And for the first time in Bigg Boss Tamil history, contestants were able to celebrate various festivals, including Pongal, while staying inside the house, thanks to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fifth season will be no different as contestants will once again be able to celebrate major festivals inside the house.

Bigg Boss Tamil Season 5 will kick off with a big event. The event will air at 6 p.m. on Vijay Television. And the public can also broadcast the event simultaneously on Disney Plus Hotstar.

Kamal Haasan will return as host of the show for the fifth time in a row. He probably wouldn’t have returned to the show had he won the election he contested earlier this year. He even became known for using the platform to promote his Makkal Needhi Maiam political party. The Vishwaroopam star is still in the election mood as he is campaigning for his party in the upcoming local elections in Tamil Nadu, which are due to take place in the first week of October.

Kamal has been the face of Bigg Boss Tamil since its inception in 2017. And like fine wine, his grounding skills only get better with each season.

Valimai: Kartikeya Gummakonda’s first look at Ajith-starrer shared on his birthday

Film producer Boney Kapoor unveiled Kartikeya Gummakonda’s debut look from his upcoming film on Tuesday Valimai. The film stars Ajith Kumar in the lead role. Kartikeya, who is celebrating his 29th birthday today, would play the role of the film’s main antagonist.

“The #Valimai team wishes a very happy birthday to the talented @ActorKartikeya. Always remain blessed, ”Boney Kapoor tweeted, while sharing the new Valimai poster.

Kartikeya made his acting debut in 2018 with RX100. He established himself as an action hero in Telugu cinema with films like Hippi, Guna 369, Nani’s Gang Leader and 90ML. Valimai, meanwhile, will make his Tamil debut.

Earlier this month, Valimai’s long-delayed production came to an end. The final filming program took place in Russia with Ajith. The actor plays a cop in the film, which is directed by H Vinoth. The director has already delivered a memorable detective film, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (2017). Valimai is Vinoth’s second consecutive film starring Ajith and Boney Kapoor after Nerkonda Paarvai, which was the official Tamil remake of the Hindi film Pink.

Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay
Will Vijay make an appearance in Shah Rukh Khan’s movie starring Atlee?

Tamil superstar Vijay is one of the reasons that director Atlee has become one of the highest-grossing commercial filmmakers in Tamil cinema. It is also true that it was Theri of Atlee who brought much-needed relief to Vijay, who was reeling from the box office failure of his fantasy drama Puli at the time.

After Theri’s success, Atlee worked with Vijay in her next two films. While Mersal has surpassed Theri’s collection, Bigil has surpassed Mersal. And for the first time since his debut as director Raja Rani in 2013, Atlee is working with a star who is not Vijay.

His untitled film with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is in production in Pune. The latest industry buzz suggests Vijay will make an appearance in Atlee’s upcoming film.

If the rumor is true, the reach of Shah Rukh Khan’s lead actor has just widened to the south. It won’t be the first time Vijay has done his director friends such a favor. In the past, Vijay has made an appearance in Rowdy Rathore’s song “chinta ta ta chita chita” out of goodwill for Prabhu Deva, who had led Vijay in Pokkiri and Villu.

Shah Rukh Khan started filming Atlee’s film in Pune last week. Nayanthara plays the main female role in the film.