Chennai Spy

Monday, June 05, 2006

Uyir is a unique approach to love

My height is a plus point for me,” said Samvritha, a Malayali actress who stands 5’9” in her socks. Speaking to the media at the press meet of her film Uyir where she is teaming up with Srikanth, the actress said that Uyir is a perfect launch pad for her as the role has scope for performance.

Srikanth said, “The film has an unusual storyline — one that the Tamil industry has not witnessed so far.” Actress Sangitha is playing an offbeat role which is being kept under wraps by the unit. Sami, a one time associate of Cheran and Parthibhan is directing the film. Sami also adds that music director Joshua Sridhar has given mind-blowing numbers in the film.

Tele-film takes an offbeat look at gender

A tele-film Oruvargal is based on the sensitive subject of a man who is confused about his sexual identity, made by DFT (Diploma in Film Technology) students was recently screened for the select media gathering at Prasad Studios in the city. The film revolves around Meenakshi (Mohan) who grew up with his cousin Arun (Ram) right from his childhood. As he grows up, he sees some biological changes in himself and slowly realises that he is turning into a woman.

As an adult Meenakshi is drawn towards Arun and she wants to marry him. Kavya (Heera) enters their lives and Arun and Kavya fall for each other. Unable to bear this, Meenakshi kills Kavya. The rest is all about Meenakshi’s struggle and an unexpected climax at the end.

Interacting with the media, the debut director Anbu Parthasarathy, a DFT student said, “The theme was inspired from the reality show Acchamillai Acchamillai aired on Jaya TV which is anchored by actress Lakshmi. In one of the episodes, I saw a guy who got changed from a male to a female, sharing his harrowing experience in society and how he was disowned even by his own parents. This touched my heart and I made this film adding few cinematic elements instead of merely making a documentary on eunuchs.”

The one hour film which will be featured at various international film festivals including the Indian Panorama has been made at an unbelievably low cost of Rs 2.25 lakhs. The director claims that the reason why he made it at such a low price is because he wanted to disprove the belief that DFT students always go overboard in budget.

Earlier, the DVD of the film was released and directors Susi Ganesan, Bala Shekaran, Maheshwar, journalist Ramji and film institute professor, Ravi Raja spoke on the occasion.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sathyaraj to play Periyar

Director Gnana Rajasekaran's next venture is a portrayal of social reformer and Dravidian leader E.V. Ramasamy, better known as `Periyar'.

The script for the film has been completed. And, guess who is going to play the role of the reformer? Actor Sathyaraj, who is a rationalist.

The actor has landed the plumb role and rare honour, which eluded even the late Sivaji Ganesan. Sivaji Ganesan had played real life heroes such as Kattabomman in Veerapandiaya Kattabomman, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai in Kappalotiya Thamizhan, Bhagath Singh in Rajapart Rangadurai, poet Bharathi in Kaikodutha Deivam and Thirupur Kumaran. His wish to play Periyar on the big screen remained unfulfilled.

Ganana Rajasekaran has directed full length feature films Mogamul, Bharathi with Shiyaji Shinde and Mugam with Nasser. He has also directed a couple of shorts films and documentaries.

The director and moviemakers are finalising technicians and actors for the other parts in the film, which is being produced by Liberty Creations. Vidyasagar is to score the music. Thankar Bachan is the cinematographer of the film, while GK is the art director. The director is on the lookout for a popular name from the Tamil film industry to play Nagammai and Maniammai, Periyar's wives. Gnana Rajasekaran was former regional officer of the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) in Chennai.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Trouble between Arya and director Saran

The feud between actor Arya and director Saran has taken a turn for the worse after Arya walked out of director Saran’s next venture Vattaram. And both of them have complained about each other to the Artistes’ Association and to the Producers’ Council respectively.

According to sources in the industry, Arya has been offered the hero’s role in Bala’s Nan Kadavul, after actor Ajith opted out, and he did not want to lose the opportunity.

But since he has received an advance and has also confirmed dates with Saran, the director is not willing to let him go, thus leaving the actor in a lurch.

Speaking to this newspaper, Saran said, “I have given him an advance for the film Vattaram. Even the entire story has been narrated to him and all the artistes have been finalised for the shooting. We wanted to start the project on June 25, but Arya requested for a change in dates to pursue his other project Auto. So I agreed to reschedule it for July 5.

And now after everything is fixed, he has walked out of my project to accept Bala’s film. It is very unethical. In fact, I told him to complete Vattaram and leave in September for Bala’s project. But due to undue pressure from Bala, Arya is adamant that he wants to leave right away. After I came to know that he had taken up this issue with the Artistes’ Association, I have no choice but to approach the Producers Council with this matter.”

Arya, when contacted, said, “Look, I had committed to Saran sir last July in the capacity of a producer and not as a director. After Idhaya Thirudan flopped at the box-office, he said he wanted to make a comeback as a director. After I gave him my word, he changed plans and requested that I do a film under his direction, and I agreed to this. Contrary to his claims, he has not narrated the script to me. I have not signed any written agreement on my dates either.”

“In fact, I have waited for over a year for his project to come through and now since I am getting an offer from Bala , I do not want to let this opportunity go. It is true that I did take an advance from him, but I am willing to pay the interest on the payment till I return from Bala’s film. The bottom line is that I can’t afford to put my career at stake,” Arya said.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sivaji in different outfit at Spain

The unit of Rajinikant’s next film Sivaji were in Spain recently, shooting for a song sequence.

Stills from the film were released to the media that showed the superstar is several different outfits. Even actress Shriya looked rather colourful for the song sequence.

Director Shankar said that he had put Rajinikanth on a spe cial diet so that he would look young and fresh in this film.

Rajini’s new look and action sequences are supposed to be the highlights of this film.

In fact, one major stunt sequence reportedly took 35 days to shoot, under the supervision of Hollywood action director Peter Haynes.

View: Sivaji in Spain

Sherawat to do item number in 'Stalin'

Actress Mallika Sherawat has been approached to do an item number in the Chiranjeevi-Trisha starrer Stalin, directed by Murugadoss. The unit of the film returned to Hyderabad recently after shooting two songs in Italy and Austria.

Speaking to this newspaper Murugadoss said, “We approached Mallika Sherawat to do an item number in Stalin, which will be picturised on a hip-hop song. Her response was positive, but as she is busy with a few other commitments, she is taking time to give dates. I am hoping for the best.” Apparently, Mallika has been offered a whopping amount of money for the song.

Wedding bells for actresses Uma and Laya

Uma, daughter of former actress Sumithra is going to marry Dushyanth, a Mumbai-based software engineer and a distant relative, on June 15 at Bangalore. Uma who made her debut with the film Veera Nadai in Tamil has done films in all the south Indian languages, the popular ones being Thendral, Sokka Thangam, Amudhe, Uppidada MBBS, etc.

Another actress who is getting mar ried around the same time is Telugu actress Laya. She is getting married to an NRI, Ganesh, a cancer specialist from California on June 14.

Laya who was given the Nandhi Award twice for her performances in Manoharam and Preminchu, has done films in Tamil as well as Malayalam. She did films like Engal Anna with Vijayakanth and Chanakya with Sarath Kumar. Both actresses plan to quit acting after marriage.

Asin dazzles at Metroplus Lifestyle Show

Asin looked cool and totally unruffled by the mobs of excited people at the inauguration of the `Metroplus Lifestyle Show' on Thursday morning.

Little girls waved notebooks for autographs, men giggled and mothers waved their toddlers in the air for Asin to see.

The third edition of the lifestyle show at the Chennai Trade Centre is a spectacular exhibition of swanky cars, booming music systems, snazzy flat screen television sets, dazzling diamonds, rich silks and more.

Asin walked past the luxurious furniture section, stopped to admire a collection of picturesque gramophones and posed at a stall lush with artificial flowers, charming the owner so much that he gave her a bouquet.

She also inaugurated Samsung's stall, stopping to admire their LCD TVs, got a crash course on sari weaving at RmKV and signed autographs by the dozen, while her security glared at the overly-exuberant.

Asin finally left, in a flurry of waves and flashbulbs, but the Lifestyle Show promises to rock through the next few days.

CM promises Sivaji Ganesan’s statue at Marina Beach

Like any other state, Tamil Nadu does not lag behind in non-con sensus politics. What is done by the previous regime will be undone by the present government. It all began with the controversy around the re-installation of the Kannagi statue on Marina beach, and now it has switched over to thespian Sivaji Ganesan’s memorial.

After the thespian’s demise in July 2001, the government in power announced that, a memorial will be built for him and even allocated 0.65 acres of land (around 12 grounds) near Adyar (opposite the famous Sathya Studios).

This land was allotted in the name of South Indian Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) and the association undertook the responsibility of building the memorial. SIFAA members along with Sivaji’s family even conducted a bhoomi pooja at the site last April, with the SIFAA president and actor Vijayakant promising the formation of a high-level committee to oversee the construction of the memorial at a cost of Rs 1 crore.

But despite several requests from many quarters including Sivaji Peravai, no action was initiated.
Now, after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s recent announcement, about the installation of Sivaji Ganesan’s statue at Marina Beach, the entire film industry and the thespian’s family have expressed their gratitude to the CM.
The newly proposed site for the Sivaji Memorial will be at Ambedkar Memorial, Raja Annamalaipuram or opposite the Kamaraj Memorial in Guindy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sneha Chats with Fans Online

As a part of celebrity series, invited popular actress Sneha to chat with some of her fans online. She answered questions about her life, movies and plans for future.

sneha says: It's a great film and i was really happy with my role and it was nice acting with Dhanush and it was a great experience with Selvaji

You can view the complete image gallery during her chat session with sify userst here. And complete transcript of her chat with fans online is available here.

Da Vinci Code distributors seek police protection

Distributors of the controversial movie The Da Vinci Code, Anu Roshini Films, have sought police protection after they allegedly received threatening calls from certain segments of the Christian community in the city.

Anu Roshini Films have also been the distributors of films like Poseidon, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Incredibles in Tamil Nadu. After several days of speculation, The Da Vinci Code has finally been slated for release in the Indian screens.

This is after the censor board cleared the film, ordering that a legal disclaimer stating that the film is a work of fiction and not based on fact, be displayed before and after the movie. A total of 150 prints have been made for the Indian market, out of which 50 prints are to be used for screening in Tamil Nadu alone.

A.V. Mohan and Appu of Anu Roshini Films who met the media on Tuesday said that the film is being dubbed and released in Tamil too and there are nine prints for the city which will be screened at various cinema halls.

“But some theatres have received calls threatening them with dire consequences if they screen the film and this is why we anticipate problems on the day of release. We met the Chennai police commissioner Lethika Saran today to seek police protection for all the theatres where the film is going to be released,” they added.

Tamil Nadu bans "Da Vinci Code"

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday banned the screening of Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Da Vinci Code’ on the grounds that the film could hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community and even disturb peace in the state.

A late evening statement from the state’s home secretary said the government took “cognisance of the various reports and complaints received from the minority communities, particularly the Christian community” regarding the proposed screening of the film. “The screening of the movie may hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of the Christian community. The screening of the movie may also lead to demonstrations and disturb peace and tranquility within the state,” it said.

Keeping this in view the government had directed the district collectors and the police commissioner in Greater Chennai to “study the situation closely” and to take action under the Cinematograph Act “for suspending the screening of the movie,” the official release said.

Tamil Nadu is the second state after Punjab to have banned the Code from hitting the screen.

Angry young man Vishal in 'Thimiru'

Vishal, who seems to be choosing his roles wisely, is one of the fastest rising stars in Kollywood. His last two films "Chellamay" and "Sandakozhi" were hits. His new film "Thimiru" is produced by his brother Vikram Krishna, written and directed by newcomer Tarun Gopi.

Vishal plays an angry young man in the film, which has glamour, sentiment and action thrown in. The brothers have managed to rope in Reema Sen, Shreya Reddy, former SS Music veejay, and Kiran (who does an item number). Yuvan Shankar Raja scores the music.

New pin-up girl - Ileana

Ileana is the new pin-up girl of Telugu cinema, thanks to the stupendous success of "Pokiri". The Mumbai-based girl had made her debut in "Devadasu", which was an average grosser.

The trade in Andhra Pradesh feels Ileana's glamour, screen presence and chemistry with Mahesh Babu worked to the advantage of "Pokiri". She is now doing "KD", a bilingual with A. M. Ratnam's son Ravi Krishna, Prabhas' "Munna" and a film with NTR.

The new sensation is sure to give south Indian girls a run for their money.

Chennai Kadhal - Audio Coming Soon

Bharath and Genelia (both who debuted in Shankar's Boys), once again act together in the movie Chennai Kadhal. This movie is produced by S.Dhanu under the banner V Creations. Story, screenplay, dialogues and direction are by Vikraman.

The third stage shooting of this movie is being canned in foreign locations. Audio of the movie is expected on first week of June. Music of Chennai Kadhal is by Joshua Sridha ('Kadhal' fame). His recent release being Uyir, which is reportedly doing well. Let's hope for a better one in Chennai Kadhal.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Jerry - No Violence! Full of Fun!

Jerry is the hilarious comedy movie being made by L Ve Creators, directed by S.P. Gandhan, story screenplay and direction by Gracie Mohan, starring Ramesh, Mumtaj, Shruthi and Meera Vasudevan. Music is by Ramesh Vinayagam.

The movie is reported running house packed from the date of release, with bunch of movies making their shows with the same theme "Violence", Jerry has taken a different step to pull audience, specially targetting the Family Audience.

Publicity Stills of "Jerry"

Kokki reels seized by police

The city police seized reels of the new Tamil film Kokki on Monday night. The movie has actors Karan and Sanjana in the lead, and is directed by Prabhu Solomon.

The police arrested the projector operator of a cinema hall for allegedly screening a sequence from a song in the movie, which was banned by the censor board. A team from the Central Crime Branch of the city police conducted a raid at Roopam theatre, located on Poonamalee high road.

The raid was conducted based on a complaint from the authorities about a screening of the censored portion of the film in the theatre. The police said that three producers, the theatre owner, manager and the operator were named in the complaint.

The Censor Board had reportedly asked the producers of Kokki, Sethu, Vinith Kokeya and Balasubramanian, to remove a sequence from the song Aa Sonna Ayanavaram, because it was considered vulgar. The police reported on Tuesday that they have the operator in custody, but the others who were named in the complaint are absconding.

They said that action will be taken against other theatre owners as well, if they continue to screen the censored portion of the film.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ash also has a porn star look-alike

First it was Mallika Sherawat, whose Spanish porn star lookalike Lolly, made headlines when one of her adult movie clips made to the MMS circuit. Now it’s actress Aishwarya Rai who is making waves, not just all over the world, but also on the World Wide Web.

The actress has become the most sought after face on the voyeur circuit with a record breaking number of websites dedicated to her ‘nude’ pictures.

While most of the pictures are badly morphed images using the actress’s film stills, one site has many thrill seekers fooled. The site called has been getting a record number of hits, ever since Aishwarya became popular on the international circuit.

The link to this website did the rounds on email recently with a message that says: ‘Want to know what India’s top actress Aishwarya Rai is working on in Hollywood?’ The link takes the viewer to the site showing pictures and clips of a south American looking porn star who bears a striking resemblance to the actress, but the site claims that it is the actress herself.

Mohit Hirwani, an assistant director who received the link says, “At first you get a shock, because the girl who is seen engaged in hard-core pornography looks a lot like Aishwarya Rai. But most of the clips show her with her eyes closed. There’s one where her eyes are open and it’s clearly not the actress.” Another set of pictures doing the rounds claims that they are ‘authentic’ shots of Aishwarya’s audition for a Hollywood production, and they show the light-eyed beauty engaged in a sexual act with a very Indian looking man.

But Ash fans don’t take any of this seriously. “There are morphed pic tures of all Bollywood actresses available online. Why single out Aishwarya Rai? People are always looking for ways to cash in on anyone who’s in the news” says Aditya Prasad, a business executive.

Chennai film unit survives Indonesia earthquake

A Tamil film unit which was shooting a documentary film in Indonesia on the illfated day the powerful earthquake struck and took more than 3000 lives, survived and returned to the city safe and sound.

The Chennai based serial and documentary producer Dr. Krishnaswamy of Krishnaswamy Associates who has produced award winning documentaries like Indus Valley to Indira Gandhi along with his crew was shooting for a new documentary Indian Imprints at Bantul in Java Island, one of the worst affected areas. The unit was staying at a hotel in that area three days before the earthquake hit the place.

Narrating the entire incident a spokesperson from Krishnaswami Associates said, “Dr Krishnaswamy along with his wife and producer Dr Mohana, daughter Lata and cinematographer Madhu Ambat with three other technicians were on a shooting assignment for the documentary Indian Imprints which showcases ancient monuments of Indian heritage in the far east, including the well known Angkor Wat and Bayon in Cambodia, Borabudur and Prambanan in Indonesia.

They were staying in Hotel Melia Purosani at Yogyakarta at Java Island. After three days of shooting, they left for a nearby town for the fourth day. The shooting continued till late night and hence the unit could not return to their hotel and stayed 40 km away from Yogyakarta in another hotel. The next day early morning at about 6.10 am. they could feel a tremor and every one came out of the hotel at once.

Later they realised that it was an earthquake which struck the Java Island. It was then that they heard that Melia Purosani Hotel where they were staying earlier was badly damaged by the quake and they were not allowed to enter Yogyakarta.” According to Krishnaswamy, it was by God’s grace the entire unit had survived and it was a nightmarish incident that has left a deep scar in his mind. Now they are in the process of rescheduling their shooting locales.

Dr.Krishnaswamy is the brother of famous classical dancer Padama Subramanian.