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Liberating Experience: Gautham Menon On Directing Amazon's Tamil Short Films Anthology

Liberating Experience: Gautham Menon On Directing Amazon's Tamil Short Films Anthology

Filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon on Monday said being a part of Amazon Prime Video's "Putham Pudhu Kaalai", an anthology of five Tamil short films, was a "liberating" experience for him as he didn't have to worry about the box office while working on the movie. The project brings together five celebrated directors of Tamil cinema Sudha Kongara, Menon, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthik Subbaraj to create stories of love, new beginnings, second chances and hope. Gautham's segment, titled "Avarum Naanum /Avalum Naanum", features "Sivaji: The Boss" actor MS Bhaskar and Ritu Varma.

Mumbai: Filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon on Monday said being a part of Amazon Prime Video’s “Putham Pudhu Kaalai”, an anthology of five Tamil short films, was a “liberating” experience for him as he didn’t have to worry about the box office while working on the movie. The project brings together five celebrated directors of Tamil cinema Sudha Kongara, Menon, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthik Subbaraj to create stories of love, new beginnings, second chances and hope. Gautham’s segment, titled “Avarum Naanum /Avalum Naanum”, features “Sivaji: The Boss” actor MS Bhaskar and Ritu Varma.

During a virtual press conference, the director said with no trappings to impress the audience, making the short film was a joy to begin with. “These ideas and scripts will not get to be in a feature film in the first place. “Here you’re actually filming for the content and not worrying about the magic, mood of the theatre, will the audience be affected 10 minutes into the screenplay, should a particular shot be there,” Gautham told reporters. The director said his segment, which follows a grandfather-granddaughter duo, would have never been greenlit at the production stage itself had it been a feature length story. For “Avarum Naanum /Avalum Naanum”, Gautham said he only focused on getting the film right and thus enjoyed a free hand. “How can you convince a producer about a story between a grandfather and a granddaughter? It’s not going to be easy because they’ll ask you who’s the hero, what the business (projection) is going to be like. “You’re not thinking all of that. It’s very liberating in that sense itself. From the concept, length to the way you want the film.” Suhasini said for her film, “Coffee, Anyone?”, she revived a decade-old unfinished short about the confrontation two daughters and a son have after they come home to celebrate their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

The film brings together the Hasan family, with the filmmaker’s cousins, actor Shruti and Anu, joining her for the short. “Unfortunately a week before the shoot my father (actor Charuhasan) met with an accident otherwise it would have been an all Hasan cast… It was fun working with my family,” the actor-filmmaker said. Suhasini said her segment focuses on family bonding which is under spotlight due to the coronavirus pandemic which has both, isolated and united people. “It’s time we value the things we have, start recognising the love and talent that’s around us… We should spend a lot of time with people we love. Say sorry to them, express your love because it might be too late. My film is also saying the same thing.” Set and filmed under the COVID-19 lockdown, “Putham Pudhu Kaalai” is slated to start streaming from October 16.


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