From his school days, Anand Shankar, 26, knew he wanted to make movies with a lot of ‘‘stunts and bashing.’’ But first came an engineering degree in Chennai, followed by a course at the New York Film Academy. He returned to work as an assistant director in Anjana Anjani with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. Shankar went to assist A R Murgadoss on movies like Thuppaki and Ezham Arivu. Now ready with his own project, Arima Nambi, the young filmmaker has Vikram Prabhu and Priya Anand as his cast. And yes, it is an action thriller. More from the director:
What does Arima Nambi mean?
Arima means lion and Nambi refers to a gentleman (with the strength of a lion). This will be an action thriller with Vikram Prabhu playing a modern Chennai guy, fresh from college, an extrovert and a far cry from his rustic appearance in Kumki.
What genre interests you, besides action?
I watch only action thrillers and now I am making them. This is the only genre that makes a lot of money as well. I also like experimenting within the genre and am a fan of Blood Diamond, Shutter Island and Prestige.
Have you attempted theatre,like your grandfather, Komal Swaminathan?
I never had the time for it. I always wanted to be in movies but finished engineering to make my parents happy. I have seen some of his plays, like Thaneer Thaneer by The Madras Players. It was amazing.
People thought I was joking when I said I wanted to be in movies, but I was very serious.
Since I’ve worked with big directors, I know how the industry works. I got messages from Santosh Sivan telling me how to be on the sets. When the posters of Arima Nambi were out, actor Vijay messaged saying, “kalakunga” (keep it up). Incidentally, some of my friends also call me ‘rocket’ to denote that I will reach the skies one day. I am confident I will do well.