Pandiraj debuted as director with the award-winning film Pasanga in 2009. The film, dealing with the psyche of students, made many sit up and take notice. He followed it up with last year’s Vamsam which was also the launch-pad for actor Arulnidhi, grandson of Kalaignar. Arulnidhi debuted in this village subject opposite Sunaina who appeared, for a change, in a deglamourized role.
Pandiraj is now ready with his third directorial venture titled Marina, which stars newcomer Sivakarthikeyan and Oviya in lead roles. The film deals with the goings-on which occur on a daily basis in our own Chennai’s sprawling Marina Beach, said to be the second longest beach in the world, Pandiraj says that he liked the script of Marina so much that he didn’t want others to produce and instead, decided to produce the film himself.
“I feel every director should turn producer in order to understand clearly the travails, difficulties and the agonizing moments the latter undergoes while making a film. In my first two films, I had always cooperated with the producer and ensured that I didn’t over-shoot the original budget. I did quite a lot of research before finalizing the script and hope it would be captivating enough to the viewers.
“I wanted to cast Vimal again but then zeroed in on Sivakarthikeyan after watching him host a reality show on the telly. ‘Pakkada’ Pandi from Pasanga plays an important role in Marina and might win many awards for the way he has acted in the film,” concludes Pandiraj and adds that he would be crediting Bollywood film-maker Mira Nayar in the title as he candidly confesses that the theme of the film Marina is based on Mira’s Salaam Bombay.