Bharathiraja’s open challenge to young directors

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Bharathiraja Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum

With bitter memories, veteran director Bharathiraja recently stepped away from the ‘presidentship’ of the Tamil Film Directors’ Association after winning the elections last month. He asked Cheran and Samuthirakkani, vice-presidents, to take care of his job and responsibilities. Bharathiraja’s regret is that only after he amassed Rs.3 crores in the Association’s bank account, there had been a clamour among directors to vie for the top post.

The director, credited with re-writing Tamil cinema’s destiny vis-à-vis films based in the rural backdrop, has gone back to doing what he knows best: directing films. His last film was the Nana Patekar-Arjun starre ‘Bommalattam’ besides starring in Thamiraa’s ‘Rettaichuzhi’. He has now launched the film ‘Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum’ (AK) with an undiminished will to bounce back into reckoning in films.

Speaking at an audio-launch a few days back, Bharathiraja had a piece of advice for the young breed of directors to keep their ‘heads’ planted firmly on their shoulders. “I have bagged the national award six times and even refused the ‘Padma Shri’ once. An artiste should never rest on his laurels; the day he starts doing so, his creativity and novelty would go out of the window. Today’s directors behave in a very ‘hi-fi’ way after delivering just one or two hit films.

“Director Sridhar and comedian Nagesh are the pioneers; what have they left for us to do? They did everything possible and still kept quiet. Young directors would do well to take a leaf out of their books. Though I’m 70, I’m still young at heart. My ‘AK’ would have the script that has never been told in Tamil cinema as on date and would shake the entire industry with its narration.

“I challenge all the young directors to make a film equaling ‘AK’. It’s a open challenge,” he had said at the event and has now gone started to work full-throttle for the film. Knowing his verve, he isn’t likely to give up for sure!

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