Just the mention of the title Vanakkam Chennai would have been enough to pull in crowds, but debutant director Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi says that the title isn’t mere embellishment. “The lead characters played by Shiva and Priya Anand meet in Chennai. They come from diverse backgrounds, as the hero is from Theni district and the female lead from London,” she says.
The filmmaker adds that the out and out commercial film will also see some strong women roles, as the array of actors include Urvashi and Renuka.
“As a female director I have ensured that my female roles have a lot of substance. That is the big difference I can make as a woman filmmaker. Otherwise I don’t think being a woman makes any other difference in approach or style,” she adds.
Having worked on the story for the last one-and-a-half years, Kiruthiga says that she initially wanted to approach other producers. “But then that idea too backfired because many were wondering why I would go for an outside production team. However, I got good feedback on the story and decided to go ahead under Red Giant’s banner,” she says.
“I was so charged to do the film that despite having a bout of chikungunya on day one of the shooting, I decided to go ahead and start work,” she adds with a laugh.
The two big advantages that she has as a first-time filmmaker are starting from scratch and working without any baggage. “I have learnt so much in the process of filmmaking and this movie has been a big learning process in itself,” she says.
Kiruthiga also adds that she gave complete freedom to her crew from the art to music direction. “I owe a lot to Anirudh for his work that resulted in complete chartbusters. I only told him that I wanted a hit song and he has made everything a super hit. I am happy that Chennai City Gangsta has become a rage in the city,” she gushes.
But she maintains that she is taking filmmaking as it comes. “I am not here to prove anything to anyone. I am waiting to see how my film has shaped up. Only after that will I decide about my next project,” says the filmmaker who has also directed a 15-minute film called Life, Love and Hope along with Sasi Kumar and Mysskin.