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Tamannaah in Chiranjeevi’s ‘Sye Raa’

TollywoodWhen the actor was approached for the role, sources say she immediately gave her assent.Digital NativeThe Chiranjeevi starrer Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is one of the most anticipated films that is to release next year. Made on a large scale budget, it features mega star Chiranjeevi as the freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, who fought the British valiantly even before the Sepoy Mutiny. According to the latest reports, Tamannaah has also been signed up to play a crucial role in the film. When the actor was approached for the role, sources say she immediately gave her assent. Produced by Ram Charan Teja under his banner Konidela Production Company on a budget of Rs 150 crore, the film has a bevy of top stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Jagapathi Babu, Sudeep, Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara. This film also marks Vijay Sethupathi’s debut in Tollywood. While the film’s shooting has been taking place in small schedules at several places, recently a huge set was erected at Nanakramguda, where a major part of the film with key stars Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan and Nayanthara was shot. Sye Raa, directed by Sudheer Reddy, will release in multiple languages, including Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. The technical crew of this biopic includes Rathnavelu as cinematographer. When the project was announced, Oscar-winning music director Ar Rahman was signed to compose the music and Santosh Sivan as the cinematographer. However, they both opted out owing to the delay in Sye Raa taking off. There have been various reports about who will compose the music for the film, but nothing has been finalised as yet, with names of leading musicians Ilayaraja, Mm Keeravani and S Thaman thrown in the ring. Tamannaah, who is the latest addition to the Sye Raa star cast, has a busy year ahead with a slew of films in her kitty. While her Tamil film Kanne Kalaimane is in the post-production mode, she also has a couple of Telugu films, Naa Nuvve and Queen Once Again (remake of the Hindi hit movie Queen) in different stages of production besides her debut Marathi film, ABC. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Kings of Sandalwood: Tracing the careers of Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh

SandalwoodAfter Dr Rajkumar, it was Ambareesh and Vishnuvardhan who ruled the Kannada film industry.CV AravindMGR and Sivaji Ganesan after their long tenures at the top passed on the baton to Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. The duo ruled the roost in Kollywood for decades. Likewise, Sathyan and Prem Nazir, the superstars of Malayalam cinema, ceded their positions to Mammootty and Mohanlal. A similar phenomenon also prevailed in Tollywood where Nt Rama Rao and A Nageswara Rao had able successors in Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna. However, in Sandalwood, the one hero who held the fort for a considerable length of time was Dr Rajkumar who ploughed a lonely furrow till two young men who would eventually metamorphose into macho heroes appeared on the scene in the early seventies. Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh have had long and illustrious careers in Kannada cinema. Vishnu, however, passed away in 2010 when he was just a year shy of his sixtieth birthday, having served the industry for close to four decades. Ambareesh, currently in the autumn of his acting career, has been balancing politics and films and has now taken to doing character roles in a few Kannada films. Both the actors have been prolific and have more than 200 films to their credit. Vishnuvardhan was introduced to films in the year 1972 by actor-director Girish Karnad in the National Award winning film Vamsa Vriksha, based on the novel by the same name penned by Sl Byrappa. But the real mentor for both Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh was one of Sandalwood’s most acclaimed auteurs Puttana Kanagal. The film Nagarahavu featured Vishnu as a hot-headed young man Ramachari and in his first full fledged role, the actor revealed flashes of his potential. Incidentally, Ambareesh had only a cameo role in the film that marked his debut in Sandalwood. Nagarahavu was a super duper hit at the box office and was the launching pad for the two stars. Some of Vishnu’s films that afforded him a lot of scope to reveal his mettle were Rajendra Singh Babu's Bandhana, Muthina Hara, S Narayan’s Veerappa Nayaka, Simhadriya Simha, Gandhada Gudi, Sooryavamsa and Santosh Sivan’s ‘Navarasa’. Among his latter day films. P Vasu’s remake of Manichitrathaazhu, Aptha Mithra and its sequel Aptha Rakshaka fared well at the box office. Incidentally, Aptha Rakshaka was released in theatres after Vishnu breathed his last. Many of his earlier films were directed by Rajendra Singh Babu and the 1984 film Bandhana in which he was paired with Suhasini still remains green in memory. More so, it was the biggest hit in his career. Vishnu has also acted in films in other languages. His Tamil films like Alaigal, Mazhalai Pattalam and Kauravar caught the audience's attention. In Telugu, he did a couple of films Okkadu Chalu and Sardar Dharmaanna. In Malayalam, Vishnu worked in films like Adima Changala, Mazhakala Megam and Samarpanam. He made his debut in Bollywood with Ek Naya Ithihas and went on to do films like Inspector Dhanush, Ashanth and Zalim. Vishnu brought to bear a great deal of charm and grace in his portrayals and looked every inch a swashbuckling hero. Dubbed the Phoenix of Kannada cinema for his comebacks, Vishnuvardhan was also fondly called as ‘Sahasa Simha.’ Veteran singer S P Balasubramanian who sang for Vishnu in Nagarahavu remained his favourite playback singer and even in his last film Aptharakshaka Spb rendered as many as five hit numbers. Incidentally, Vishnu himself was no mean singer and had sung in as many as twenty films, apart from cutting a few discs comprising religious songs. His duets with acclaimed singers like P Susheels, S Janaki and K S Chithra were all chart busters. The careers of Vishnu and Ambareesh ran parallel to each other and the duo’s popularity levels too matched a lot. Ambareesh who earned the title ‘Rebel Star’ impressed audiences as a tough as nails Inspector Amarnath in Chakravyuha and went on to act in successful films like Diggajaru (with Vishnu), Antha, Ranganayaki, Ellu Suttine Kote, Masanada Hoovu, Shubamangala, Gaddu Bheranda, Operation Antha (sequel to Antha) and Sree Manjunatha’ among others. He later went on to do supporting roles in films like Upendra’s Katari Veera, Surasundarangi.It was his performance in the film Chakravyha that fetched him the title ‘Rebel Star’. Ambareesh also excelled in dual roles in Antha as a cop and a prisoner. He matched strides with thespian Rajkumar in the film Odahuttidavaru. Ambi Ning Vayassaithu and Kurukshethra where he plays the role of Bheema are the films that the star is presently shooting for. Vishnu and Ambareesh shared a lifelong friendship and were like two peas in a pod before the icy hand of fate snatched Vishnu away. Both married co-stars and while Vishnu tied the knot with Bharathi, Ambareesh found his soul mate in Sumalatha. Their saga of success had a lot to do with the way they shaped their careers. They knew their limitations and range and their directors too ensured that the kind of roles that they signed up for were right up their street. A remarkable aspect in the long innings that the duo essayed on the silver screen was that they managed to keep their fan bases intact. Nearly eight years after his passing, Vishnu’s birth and death anniversaries are observed by his diehard fans who do their best to contribute to the charitable causes that he espoused during his lifetime.
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Big B, Kamal, Mani Ratnam, Srk and Aamir to share dais with Christopher Nolan?

Cinema The director of ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’ will be in Mumbai to take part in an event to preserve celluloid film in the digital age.Digital NativeIt has already been reported that the Hollywood director Christopher Nolan would be in India to take part in an event that would be on the preservation of celluloid film in the current digital era. Well, it is now almost confirmed that the Bollywood icon, Amitabh Bachchan would be hosting the event titled ‘Reframing the Future of Film’ at the Tata Theatre in Mumbai. The exact dates of this event is yet to be announced. This is one of the biggest film-related events that is going to happen in to the country with almost all the top stars, filmmakers and technicians agreeing to grace the occasion. Reports are that director Mani Ratnam, actors Kamal Haasan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Shyam Benegal, Santosh Sivan, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, and others will be attending this event. Christopher Nolan, an aclaimed English-American director, producer, and screenwriter, has directed ten feature films and four short films. His career as a feature film director began with the 1998 directorial Following. He then went on to direct movies such as Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar and Dunkirk. His last film release, Dunkirk, starred Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. The film was made on a budget of $100 million and went on to collect $525.6 million worldwide. Christopher Nolan has won several awards in his career including Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, the Board of the Governors Award, the Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award, Visionary Award, the Writers Guild of America Award for the Best Original Screenplay for Inception, the African-American Film Critics Association for Best Picture for The Dark Knight. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Actor Prithviraj collaborates with Sony Pictures for first home production

Mollywood The Hollywood giant will be joining hands with Prithviraj Productions for an untitled Malayalam film. Digital NativeActor Prithviraj Sukumaran’s tryst with film production began with August Cinemas, a production house that he founded along with ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan, actor Arya and Shaji Nadesan. The production house’s first venture was the Prabhu Deva starrer Urumi, released in 2011. The next film, produced under this banner, Indian Rupee, went on to win the prestigious National Film Award - Best Feature Film in Malayalam and Kerala State Film Award - Best Film. Despite being a successful production house, Prithviraj announced last year that he will be moving out of August Cinemas to launch his own production house. Actor Prithviraj announced the launch of his own banner co-founded with his wife Supriya Menon and it will be the first home production. The actor had named his production house Prithviraj Productions. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures International is all set to expand into Indian regional cinema. The Hollywood giant is joining hands with Prithviraj Sukumaran for an untitled Malayalam film. The film will be made in collaboration with Prithviraj Productions and the movie will go on floors by mid-April 2018. Prithviraj Sukumaran took to social media and confirmed that he would be joining hands with Sony Pictures, for his first home production in Malayalam cinema. In a press statement released, Prithviraj has been quoted as saying, “It started with what I thought was a casual conversation over coffee with Vivek Krishnani, MD, Sony Pictures India. I was trying to convince him that if ideas that would make entertaining films and yet stay away from conventions were what they were looking for, then Malayalam cinema is the place to be,” "In more ways than one, I believe it is a landmark event for Malayalam film industry. Sony Pictures, the international studio behind iconic blockbusters and entertainers like 2012 (2009), the Spider-Man franchise and most recently Jumanji (2017), ramped up its local production with Pad Man (2018) early this year and is now stepping into the small and dense world of Malayalam cinema. "What makes this partnership doubly exciting is the nature of the film that we're producing together...More announcements about this partnership and our first film will soon follow," wrote Prithviraj Sukumaran in a detailed post on his Twitter handle. On the career front, Prithviraj is currently working on the period drama Kaali, Aadujeevitham, based on the Malayalam novel by Benyamin, and My Story, a romantic comedy directed and produced by Roshni Dinaker. His Ranam is expected to release soon. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Mani Ratnam’s ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’ halted

KollywoodReports say that a wedding sequence featuring Jyothika and Arvind Swamy was shot recently at a location on the Ecr in Chennai.Digital NativeThe shooting for the Mani Ratnam directorial Chekka Chivantha Vaanam has come to a halt following the strike called by the Tamil Film Producers Council. While the team is waiting for the strike to be called off to resume shooting, we hear from reliable sources that Mani Ratnam had completed four weeks of shooting, in which he has shot some important sequences. Reports say that the film will have a wedding sequence featuring Jyothika and Arvind Swamy that was shot recently at a location on the Ecr. Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, which is based on industrial and environmental pollution, is expected to be wrapped in three months and the film is likely to release this year. Various industry sources have confirmed that the film will be an action-thriller and a departure from the filmmaker’s usual style of films. The film features an ensemble cast of stars, including Arvind Swamy, Jyothika, Simbu, Vijay Sethupathi, Arun Vijay, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aishwarya Rajesh, Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Mansoor Ali Khan and Thiagarajan. We hear that Arvind Swamy, Simbu, Vijay Sethupathi and Arun Vijay will be seen playing siblings in this flick. Reports indicate that Vijay Sethupathi plays the role of a police officer and Aravind Swamy will portray a politician. In a recent interview, actor Simbu revealed how Mani Ratnam treated him on the sets. He said, “Mani sir treated me like a baby. He has heard so much about me turning up late to the shooting. But when he saw me at the shooting spot ahead of everyone, he was shocked. In fact, we have completed the schedule well ahead of time. He is class apart and it is one of the best units that I’ve worked with. (sic)” The film is produced jointly by Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies and A Subhashkaran’s Lyca Productions on a huge budget. Mani’s usual collaborators have been roped in: double Oscar-winning Ar Rahman to compose the music, lensman Santosh Sivan (it’ll be his sixth collaboration with Ratnam) and Sreekar Prasad for editing. Dhilip Subbarayan is the stunt choreographer with Sharmishta Roy roped in for production design and Eka Lakhani for designing the costumes. The film, which will be a Tamil-Telugu bilingual, is titled Nawab in Telugu. Ratnam has pinned high hopes on this project following the debacle of Kaatru Veliyidai at the box office last year. With the ongoing strike, the shooting of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, which went on the floors in mid-February, will be stalled until further notice. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Vikram and Venkatesh to reprise Mammootty's role in 'The Great Father' remake

MollywoodThe Malayalam mystery thriller will be remade in both Tamil and Telugu.Digital NativeDigital NativeMammootty starrer The Great Father turned out to be a big hit and the film is to be remade in Tamil and Telugu soon. Directed by Haneef Adeni, the film was bankrolled by Prithviraj Sukumaran, Santosh Sivan, Arya and Shaji Nadesan under the banner August Cinema. And now, it is all set to be remade in Tamil and Telugu. The reports are that Tollywood star Venkatesh has been roped in to reprise Mammootty’s role in the Telugu version while Vikram will be doing it in the Tamil remake. The details regarding the Tamil project is yet to be made clear. The Great Father is a mystery thriller that had Mammootty play the lead role with the star cast also including Arya, Sneha, Anikha, Shaam, Malavika Mohanan, Miya George, and Kalabhavan Shajon in pivotal roles. Made on a budget of Rs 6 crores, The Great Father collected Rs. 50 crores at the box office which speaks about its commercial success. The film’s Hindi dubbed version was also released earlier under the title Dashing Jiggarwala. It may be mentioned here that Venkatesh has starred in quite a number of remakes including Drishyam and Irudhi Suttru. He reprised Mohanlal’s role in the remake of Drishyam titled as Dhrushyam in Telugu and Madhavan’s role Guru, from Irudhu Suttru. He currently has another remake in his kitty which will be Vikram Vedha that had Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead roles. Vikram’s last film release was Sketch which was released earlier this year and he has two more films lined up for release this year – Gautham Menon’s Dhruva Natchathiram and Hari’s Saamy Square. It may be noted here that Saamy Square is the sequel to his smash hit film Saamy which was a cult hit way back in 2003. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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‘Wanted to give back to cinema’: Actor Prithiviraj, wife roll out production house

Announcement Malayalam actor Prithviraj made the announcement through social media. Tnm StaffPopular Malayalam actor Prithviraj and his wife Supriya, have rolled out a new film production company. Named after the actor himself, Prithviraj Productions wants to "give back to cinema," a statement read. According to a statement released by Prithviraj through his official social media accounts, Prithviraj said that the duo was realising a dream, by launching the production company. "We have always wanted to give back to cinema… and we couldn’t possibly think of a better way to do that than facilitate films which we believe will make Malayalam cinema proud," the statement read. The actor said that they have been in the process of realising their dream for the past year. “Why did it take one year? Why do we believe this could be the start of something very special for our industry? Why is this dream of ours effectively taking a step closer to the vision that I have always harboured for Malayalam cinema? These are all questions to which hopefully you’ll find answers in the next few announcements that will follow,” said the actor. Prithviraj also thanked entrepreneur Shaji Nadesan and cinematographer, film director, producer and actor Santosh Sivan saying that they held his hand when he took baby steps into the world of film production. "A heartfelt thank you to each and every one who taught me all that I know of cinema," he said. Till 2017, Prithviraj was part of a production house called August Cinema, along with Shaji Nadesan, Santosh Sivan and actor Arya. However, around six years after being part of the production house, Prithviraj announced that he was pulling out from the company, stating that it was time for him to take a different tangent. August Cinema produced and distributed several hit movies such as Urumi, Indian Rupee, Bangalore Days, Double Barrel and The Great Father. Ever since Prithviraj left August Cinema, there has been speculation that the actor will launch another production house of his own. Read the full statement from Prithviraj Productions here. Prithviraj's latest release was the movie Vimaanam, which was released in December last year. Recently, the first look poster of his upcoming film Kaliyan was released. Reported to be a period drama, he will play a warrior named Kunchirakkotu Kaali. Reports also say that Prithviraj is set to portray the role of a scientist in Jenuse Mohammed’s upcoming sci-fi film Nayan.
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From 'Odiyan' to 'Chaaver Warrior', 6 Malayalam cinema retellings to watch out for

MollywoodMammootty, Mohanlal, Nivin Pauly, Tovino Thomas and other stars will be appearing in these exciting films.Neelima MenonHistories and myths are getting retold as each day passes. It is only natural that these retellings find their way to the big screen. Excavated from these stories, are mythical and real superheroes of some sort. We have no way to assess their accuracy, but here’s the top 6 that we’re looking forward to in Malayalam cinema. Odiyan History In ancient Valluvanad, Odiyans, who hailed from Panar, Pulayar and Choklear communities were considered professional assassins, hired by Nairs to kill members of the rival families. Being an agrarian society, most of the rivalries centered around land disputes. The Odiyans were known for their physical agility and worshiped tribal deities. It was believed that they were also into black magic. According to folklore, the Odiyans applied an oil obtained from a slain human fetus on their ear, which gave them powers to assume forms that they desired. The stories say that they never actually changed into the forms or object they intended to be but created a sensory illusion on their prey. Odiyans would assume the shape of a bull or a cat or even a rock, lie on the route that the victim routinely used at night and prey on them. On screen Directed by ad filmmaker Va Shrikumar Menon, Mohanlal plays the last surviving Odiyan in the state. Made on a huge budget, Manju Warrier and Prakash Raj are also part of the cast. This thriller is scripted by Harikrishnan who won the National Award for his script for Kutty Srank. The film reportedly covers a 50-year period in a village in Palghat, Kerala, from 1950 to 2000. Increasing electrification and lighting slowly drives the Odiyans to death. The shooting is set to begin in July. Their first look motion poster featuring a much slimmer Mohanlal in the garb of Odiyan has already grabbed eyeballs for all the right and wrong reasons. Kunjali Marakkar IV History Kunjali III was succeeded by his nephew, the 40-year-old Mohammed Marakkar or Kunjali IV. There has been many a skirmish between his forces and the Portuguese—some won by the Portuguese, some by Kunjali’s forces now called Malabar pirates or Malabar Corsairs. The Portuguese-Calicut treaty came into force in 1582-1587 and in 1585, a new factory was constructed in Ponnani. It was here that the estrangement between the Zamorin and the Kunjali IV started. Finally, he was beheaded by the Portuguese. On screen Santosh Sivan will direct Mammootty in the biopic film on Kunjali Marakkar. Scripted by Shankar Ramakrishnan and Tp Rajeevan, the mega star will be essaying the role of Muhammed Marakkar—the 4th Kunjali Marakkar and the final naval chieftain of the Zamorin Naval Commander. August Cinemas will be producing this venture. Randamoozham History This Mt Vasudevan Nair novel is a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Bheema, the second Pandava. The story deviates from the traditional Mahabharata story as it avoids the divine elements of the ancient epic and represents the characters and events realistically. On screen Mohanlal will play Bheema on screen. A UAE-based Indian businessman will be producing the film, which will be India’s biggest ever motion picture. Directed by Va Shrikumar Menon, it will be produced in two parts and is scheduled to go on the floors by September 2018 for a release in early 2020. The second part will be released within 90 days of the first. The film will be shot primarily in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu and will be dubbed into major Indian languages and leading foreign languages. Randamoozham will also witness the coming together of various top-notch actors from Indian and global cinema. Kayamkulam Kochunni History The famous highwayman who lived in 19th century at Kayamkulam in Central Kerala, is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor. It was his impoverished childhood that resulted in an aversion to misers, moneylenders and landlords. He was betrayed by a friend and later died in jail. Ithikkara Pakki is one of his closest friends. On screen Directed by Rosshan Andrrews, written by Bobby-Sanjay, Nivin Pauly plays Kayamkulam Kochunni. Mohanlal plays Ithikkara Pakki in the film. Chengazhi Nambiar History Puthumana Panicker or Chengazhi Nambiar along with Chandroth Panicker were those who were part of Mamaamkam in Ad 1505. On screen Tovino Thomas plays Chengazhi in this multi-lingual historical drama. The film, directed and written by Sidhil Subramanian, is made with a budget of 100 Crores and will be released in different languages. Chaaver Warrior (Mamangam) History Mamangam is a medieval festival that was celebrated every 12 years from 800 Ad to 1755 Ad. It's the tale of the brave warriors of Malabar. During the Mamangam festival held on the banks of Bharathapuzha in Thirunavaya, soldiers from all over the country used to come together to wage battles and combat. On screen This movie is about a brave leader and his loyal soldiers who were part of a Mamangam. Mammootty will be essaying the leader and the shooting has already begun in Mangalore. The film is directed by debutant Sajeev Pillai.
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Santosh Sivan shares pictures from the sets of 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam'

KollywoodHe is collaborating with Mani Ratnam for the sixth time and is very excited to be a part of the film.Digital NativeDigital NativeAce cinematographer Santosh Sivan is all excited about Maniratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Santhosh is collaborating with Ratnam for the sixth time. The duo has previously worked together in films such as Thalapathi, Dil Se, Iruvar and Roja and were last seen together in Raavan. The film had gone on the floors earlier this month and the cinematographer has tweeted a series of pictures from the sets. Its a interesting combo of actors, Mani is a Director who loves innovations and willing to grow with a bunch of versatile , dedicated and punctual actors — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 23, 2018 — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 23, 2018 Since Thalapathy — SantoshSivanASC. Isc (@santoshsivan) February 24, 2018 Various industry sources have confirmed that the film will be an action-thriller and will be a departure from the filmmaker’s usual style of films. The film will be featuring Str, Arvind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Prakash Raj and Aditi Rao Hydari, who reunites with Ratnam after Kaatru Veliyidai. While it was also rumoured that Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in a special cameo role in the film as a cop, the actor came forward with a clarification during a recent media interaction that he will be playing a full-fledged role and would be seen throughout the movie. There are rumours that the film also stars senior actors Prakash Raj and Jayasudha, who have collaborated on several occasions. Apparently, they’ll be seen playing a pair and Arvind Swami, Fahadh and Simbu will be seen as their sons. Bankrolled by Ratnam's home banner Madras Talkies, double Oscar-winning Ar Rahman has been roped in compose the music and the multiple national award-winning editor Sreekar Prasad will also be a part of the team. Stunt choreographer Dhilip Subbarayan will choreograph the stunt sequences. David and Wazirfilmmaker Bejoy Nambiar, a longtime disciple of Ratnam, is listed as one of the film's creative producers. Sharmishta Roy will be the art designer and Eka Lakhani is signed as the film's costume designer. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Pia Bajpai sports tonsured look for 'Abhiyum Anuvum'

EntertainmentPia will be sporting a bald look as it is essential for the character she plays.Digital NativePia Bajpai had no qualms over tonsuring for her upcoming film Abhiyum Anuvum in which she shares screen space with Tovino Thomas. The film will mark Tovino’s debut in the Tamil film industry. A bilingual, the film will be released in Malayalam and Tamil. Pia will be sporting a bald look as it is essential for the character she plays. In a press statement from the actor, it has been mentioned, "I'm having a bald look for a couple of scenes in the film and it's been very challenging for me. It used to take three to four hours just to place that properly and have that look. For a fact, if I had to start the shoot at 7 a.m., I had to start getting ready at 3 a.m. And more than that the whole day for 12-13 hours having that on my head, was very difficult. I couldn't move my head much or laugh. Even if my head got itchy, I couldn't do anything about that. With so much spray and glue. I just couldn't wait to get home and get that off. And it used to take easily that many hours to even remove that.” Titled as Abhiyum Anuvum in Tamil and Abhiyude Katha Anuvinteyum in Malayalam, the romantic drama is being directed by veteran cinematographer Br Vijayalakshmi. Written by Uday Mahesh, the film tells a very intense love story of two youngsters living in different situations. Tovino plays a software engineer and Priya Bajpai plays the character of a peasant. The Tamil dialogues for the film has been penned by K Shanmugam. Abhiyum Anuvum is being bankrolled under the banner Yoodlee Films. Dharan Kumar has composed music for this venture. Akilan is the cinematographer and Sunil Shree Nair is the editor. Vikram Mehra and Br Vijayalakshmi are the producers of this film and ace cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan is the executive producer. Both the Tamil and Malayalam versions of the film will hit the silver screens on March 9 and the team is currently busy with the promos. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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“Mani is a director willing to grow!”

Cinematographer Santosh Sivan seems super excited about Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. The legendary cinematographer has been posting regularly on this project and his latest interesting Tweet reveals some nice information about what he thinks about Ccv.

Santosh Sivan’s latest Tweet read, “Its a interesting combo of actors, Mani is a Director who loves innovations and willing to grow with a bunch of versatile , dedicated and punctual actors”. The excitement among audiences is also growing by the day.

*Twitter post is not spell checked

Chiranjeevi’s ‘Sye Raa’ shooting postponed

TollywoodThe biopic on freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy is being made on a budget of Rs 150 crore.Digital NativeThe shooting of the Chiranjeevi starrer Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy has been postponed. On enquiring, it was learnt that the film’s cinematographer R Rathnavelu is busy with the post-production of Ram Charan Teja’s upcoming release Rangasthalam, which is due for release on March 30. Reports indicate that Chiru wanted the cinematographer to complete Rangasthalam before shifting focus on Sye Raa and so has decided to wait. It’s been Chiranjeevi’s long-time desire to play a historic character. Sye Raa, a biopic on the freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, was announced early last year with the official pooja happening in August and shooting commencing late last year. Set in the 18th century, the film required a lot of research as not a lot of material was available on the late freedom fighter, say sources close to the team. Noted writing duo Paruchuri Brothers have penned the story based on the life of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, with Sai Madhav Burra penning the dialogues and director Surendhar Reddy in charge of the screenplay. Initially, cinematographer Santosh Sivan was roped in for this magnum opus but he had to opt out due to the delay in its commencement. Further, Oscar-winning music composer Ar Rahman, who was onboard earlier to compose music for the film, also moved out citing date issues. Produced by Chiru’s son and actor Ram Charan under the banner Konidela Production Company on a huge budget of Rs 150 crore, Sye Raa has an ensemble star cast that includes Amitabh Bachchan, Jagapathi Babu, Sudeep, Vijay Sethupathi, Nayantara, Pragya Jaiswal and Brahmaji, apart from Chiranjeevi. The film is being planned on a large canvas and will be released in multiple languages including Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. The shooting will recommence only after Rathnavelu is done with Rangasthalam and the entire team is waiting for his return. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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Both Mammootty and Mohanlal set to play Kunjali Marakkar

MollywoodWill the two films also clash at the box office?Digital NativeDigital NativeOne of the most popular naval chiefs of the Zamorin, Kunjali Marakkar fought the Portuguese valiantly in the late 16th and the early 17th century. Two films on this hero have been announced and interestingly both the superstars in the Malayalam film industry are keen on playing Kunjali Marakkar. While director Priyadarshan had announced a few months earlier that he would go on to direct Mohanlal in Kunjali Marakkar and that it would be a big budget project, producer Shaji Nadeshan also came out with the announcement that Mammootty and director Santosh Sivan will be collaborating for a movie on Kunjali Marakkar. In his post on Facebook, he wrote, “Kunjali marrakkar pre production works in full swing! Shoot starts july 2018.” It may be mentioned here that director Priyadarshan had said earlier that he would wait for eight months and if the Mammootty – Santosh Sivan project failed to materialise, he would go ahead with his. Now, a Facebook post from music composer Mg Sree Kumar says, “Our new film ‘Kunjali Marakkar’ starts shortly. Please bless us. Love u all,” along with a pic of Mohanlal and Priyadarshan which makes it clear that the film is progressing at a brisk pace. Being an historic film, a lot of research is going into it. With both the stars from the Malayalam film industry opting for the same subject, it could turn out to be a big box office clash if both the films are released on the same date. At present, Mammootty as well as Mohanlal are busy with a number of projects on hands. While Mammootty’s Peranbu, Uncle and Parole are in different stages of production, Mohanlal has Odiyan and Neerali in his kitty apart from Kayamkulam Kochunni in which he plays a cameo while Nivin Pauly plays the title role. (Content provided by Digital Native)
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First look of Mani Ratnam's ‘Chekka Chivandha Vaanam’ out

KollywoodThe film has a stellar cast, many of whom Mani Ratnam will be working with for the first time. Tnm StaffFacebook/ Madras TalkiesThe first look poster of director Mani Ratnam’s upcoming film Chekka Chivandha Vaanam was released on Friday. The poster, tinted in shades of sunrise or perhaps sunset, is a perfect reference to the film’s title. Actors Silambarasan, Arvind Swamy, Arun Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi can be seen on the poster. The film’s cast includes Prakash Raj, Thiagarajan, Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aishwarya Rajesh and model Dayana Erappa. A bilingual, the film will also be released as Nawab in Telugu. The shooting for the film will begin on February 12. The director has a great lineup of actors, most of whom he’ll be working with for the first time. The film is being produced by Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions. The cast and crew of the film were confirmed via a tweet on their official page. #Ccv #ManiRatnam @LycaProductions @arrahman @santoshsivan @sreekar_prasad @vairamuthu @thearvindswami #Str #VijaySethupathi @arunvijayno1 @prakashraaj @salamsir21 #Jyotika @aditiraohydari @aishu_dil @DayanaErappa @dhilipaction @ekalakhani @onlynikil — Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (@MadrasTalkies_) February 9, 2018 Mani Ratnam had earlier announced that Fahadh Faasil would also be a part of the cast, but his name does not feature in the official tweet from Madras Talkies. Ar Rahman is the film’s music director, and the lyrics will be penned by Vairamuthu. Santosh Sivan is the film’s cinematographer, which will be their sixth collaboration together. Editor Sreekar Prasad has been roped in for this film. This is Mani Ratnam’s 26th directorial venture. Known for his slew of romantic films, it was earlier confirmed that Chekka Chivandha Vaanam will be an action-thriller. Actor Simbu has been working out intensely for this project with Mani Ratnam. The actor was last seen in Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, that bombed at the box office. It was earlier confirmed that actor Vijay Sethupathi will be seen as a cop in the film.
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Chekka Chivantha Vaanam - full cast and crew details here!

The official announcement about Mani Ratnam's next directorial venture was made just a few minutes ago. The film is titled as 'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam', featuring Str, Vijay Sethupathi, Arvind Swami, and Arun Vijay in lead roles. Here are the details about the full cast and crew:



Vijay Sethupathi

Arvind Swami

Arun Vijay


Aishwarya Rajesh

Aditi Rao Hydari

Prakash Raj



Mansoor Ali Khan



A.R.Rahman (Music)

Santosh Sivan (DoP)

Sreekar Prasad (Edit)

Vairamuthu (Lyrics)

Sharmishta Roy (Production Design)

Dhilip Subbarayan (Action Choreography)

Eka Lakhani (Costume Design)

Gopi Prasannaa (Poster Design)

Nikkil Murugan (Pro)


Great news about Mani Ratnam - Str film!

Mani Ratnam's next film with Str is one exciting project, which has music by A.R.Rahman and cinematography by Santosh Sivan, bankrolled by Lyca Productions, in association with Madras Talkies.

Now it has been announced that, the first look and title of this film will be released this evening at 5 Pm on social media. The movie's Pro, Nikkil Murugan officially confirmed this news with his tweet, "The official announcement of @MadrasTalkies_ @LycaProductions productions with First look title & Starcast  will be released by @MadrasTalkies_ 5.00pm Stay tuned for More interesting details"

*tweet is not spell-checked

Fahadh Faasil out of Mani Ratnam film?

FilmAccording to the grapevine, the reason is the delay in the commencement of the project.Digital NativeMani Ratnam’s upcoming yet to be titled multi-starrer project is slated to go on the floors from March. It has already been confirmed that Fahadh Faasil, Simbu, Vijay Sethupathi, Aishwarya Rajesh and Aditi Rao Hydari are part of the cast. According to the industry grapevine, Fahadh may have opted out of the project due to the delay in its commencement. Apparently, Fahadh’s dates with another project seem to clash with Ratnam’s project, forcing him to exit. Neither the makers nor Fahadh have reacted to the rumours which have been doing the rounds over the last couple of days. On Friday, Aditi Rao Hydari made it official that she is joining hands with Ratnam for the second time after last year’s Kaatru Veliyidai. Actor Antony Varghese, who made his debut with critically-acclaimed Malayalam film Angamaly Diaries, is also rumoured to have landed a pivotal role. Ratnam was apparently impressed with his work in Angamaly Diaries, which introduced 85 other newcomers. While A.R Rahman has been confirmed to compose music, Santosh Sivan will crank the camera in his sixth collaboration with Ratnam. Meanwhile, Simbu began working on the project by undergoing an acting workshop. In December 2017, a picture featuring Simbu and Mani Ratnam leaked online and went viral. Simbu will shed weight and sport a new look for this project which will see him share screen space with a bevy of actors for the first time. To be bankrolled by Madras Talkies, the film is expected to start rolling from February last week or March. There are rumours that the film also stars senior actors Prakash Raj and Jayasudha, who have collaborated on several occasions. Apparently, they’ll be seen playing a pair and Arvind Swami, Fahadh and Simbu will be seen as their sons. It has also been confirmed that Vijay Sethupathi will be seen in a special role as a cop.
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Film Review: ‘Lies We Tell’

Film Review: ‘Lies We Tell’
Gabriel Byrne moves pensively, wearily, through Mitu Misra’s “Lies We Tell,” as though through a much better film. For a time, as the doggedly loyal chauffeur and secret-keeper of a rich boss, dunking his dialogue into a comfy Northern England accent like a Custard Cream into a mug of tea, he almost convinces the audience, too. But very much to its detriment, Misra’s ambitious, overflowing soap opera of a debut is not content with being the character portrait that Byrne’s inherently interesting Donald deserves. It’s not even a particularly colored-in sketch of Amber (promising newcomer Sibylla Deen), the headstrong young Pakistani Muslim woman Donald befriends as she gets trapped between old-country tradition and mean-streets modernity in contemporary Bradford.

Instead the undeniably enthusiastic Indian-born, U.K.-raised Misra has the tourist-like, pent-up voracity of the first-time filmmaker. There’s a slew of racial, gender, and religious issues he needs to snapshot, a handful
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Brand new update on Mani Ratnam's next film

One of the most anticipated projects of 2018 is Mani Ratnam's next directorial, featuring Str, Vijay Sethupathi, Jyothika, Fahadh Faasil, Aishwarya Rajesh, Arvind Swami in lead roles. The film, which has music by A.R.Rahman, cinematography by Santosh Sivan is produced by Madras Talkies.


But as per our sources, the latest development of the film is that Lyca Productions is apparently in talks to produce the film in the first copy basis to Madras Talkies. The initial round of discussion seems to be positive and we can expect an official announcement from the team very soon.

Hero, villain and character actor: Malayalam cinema's Manoj K Jayan

Mollywood'Perunthachan' and 'Sargam' are among Manoj K Jayan's most memorable films.CV AravindFacebook/ Manoj K JayanThe realisation that he would have to contend with the likes of Yesudas if he were to turn playback singer, prompted Manoj K Jayan, son of the celebrated classical and devotional singer Jayan of the Jaya-Vijaya duo, to opt for a career in films as an actor. Three decades and hundreds of films later, Manoj has never had to rue his decision for he remains one of the first choices for directors who need a charismatic character actor for their films. Manoj enrolled in a film institute in Kerala but discontinued the course and began to scout for offers. A blink and miss role in Ente Sonia in 1987 set the actor on course but his potential was noticed in the film Perunthachan released three years later in which the late actor Thilakan was the main protagonist. Quite early in his career, Manoj realised that he was not cut from the same cloth as Mammootty or Mohanlal and that craving for leading man roles only could cost him his career. This decision enabled him to shift seamlessly between genres and exhibit his versatility in the process. The handsome actor has since excelled in portraying a wide range of characters, some tinged with comedy, others more poignant and absorbing, but not one of them exaggerated or superficial. One of the finest characters that Manoj K Jayan has enacted on screen was undoubtedly ‘Kuttan Thamburaan’ in the Hariharan directed Sargam, released in 1992. Just five years into his film career, Manoj was signed to play the role of a wastrel prone to epileptic seizures, a mischief maker who incurred the wrath of the villagers with his outlandish living style. Vineet, a Hariharan discovery in Nakhaksthangal, was cast in the sedate role of Kuttan’s best friend who alone could rein in the boisterous vagrant. Kuttan is forced by his parents to marry a young girl as astrologers had predicted that marriage would cure him of his malady. Later, it dawns on Kuttan that he had wedded his best friend’s lover. Stung with remorse, Kuttan takes his own life. A complex role where the actor could have easily gone overboard in the emotion laden sequences was handled with a great deal of finesse under the watchful eye of the director. This film was a turning point in Manoj’s career. Scenarist John Paul, who wrote the script for the late director Bharathan’s Chamayam, had marquee star Mohanlal and veteran Thilakan in mind for the lead roles of two fishermen with an abiding passion for theatre. However when the project took off, the roles were done by Manoj and the late Murali with the former playing the role of the extrovert Anto and Murali his friend cum rival Esthappan. The film had the distinct Bharathan touch and the stars fit perfectly in their roles. The sheer ecstasy in the number Anthapurathu sung by Mg Sreekumar, where Manoj whips up a fast dance number with Murali egging him on, lit up the screen for its sheer vibrance and vitality. With Sithara, a sublime presence as the heroine, Chamayam could well rank among Manoj’s top films. Internationally renowned cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan made the film Anandhabhadram in 2005 and a surprise pick for the villain’s role was Manoj K Jayan. The role of the diabolic Digambaran, a black magic practitioner who terrorises a village was a complete antithesis of everything that Manoj had done thus far. With his larger than life image, kohl lined eyes blazing like charcoals, large fingernails and giant strides, Digambaran was modeled on characters drawn from Kerala’s finest art forms Kathakali and Theyyam. The film was a dark fantasy in which Manoj completely overshadowed the hero Prithviraj and Kalabhavan Mani, who played the role of a visually impaired samurai warrior taking on the sinister and maniacal Digambaran. For a cool and composed individual in real life like Manoj, Digambaran was a real baptism by fire and he ended up vindicating the faith of the director. It was Hariharan again who gave Manoj K Jayan another pivotal role in his period film Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja where Mammootty was cast in the title role. A lavishly mounted film with enchanting visuals, Pazhassi Raja featured Manoj in the role of a local chieftain Thalakal Chandu. Although Mammootty hogged the limelight in the film, Hariharan had taken care to ensure that the character of Chandu did not receive short shrift and Manoj had an opportunity to steal the thunder in the scenes allotted to him. Pazhassi Raja, scripted by Jnanpith awardee M T Vasudevan Nair also had a spectacular box office run and did much to further Manoj K Jayan’s career. The versatile actor’s performance as a hijra in playback singer M G Sreekumar produced Ardhanari, a highly charged, melodramatic film however was a letdown as it was a totally over the top portrayal and though the character was meant to elicit empathy, audiences gave the film and the character a frosty reception. For the hero turned character actor it was a pleasant turn of events when director Farooq Abdul Rahman plumed him to play the lead role in the film Kaliyachan, released in 2015. The role of Kunhiraman, a Kathakali dancer and his relationship with his guru provided Manoj an opportunity to once again showcase his acting skills. Manoj K Jayan is one of the few stars of yesteryear who has managed to strike a chord with the younger set of filmmakers and they have always reposed faith in him. His roles in films like Alphonse Puthran’s Neram, Bejoy Nambiar’s Solo, and his being part of the soon to be released Prithviraj – Parvathy starrer My Story, Zacharaiah Pothan’s Jeevichirupundu and a number of films on the floors, signify that the actor continues to be in demand for strong, character roles. Manoj has worked with almost all the top names in Malayalam cinema and was also a part of two of Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s films Naalu Pennungal and Oru Pennum Rendaanum. The actor has also ventured into Tamil and Telugu films but has hardly done any significant work. In most of his Tamil films he has been typecast as a police officer and though these films including Dhool, Thirupaachi and Villu were box office hits, they did little for him career-wise. Incidentally, it was director Mani Ratnam who gave him his first break in Kollywood in the Rajinikant-Mammootty-Arvind Swami film Thalapathi. Well entrenched in the industry. the actor’s zest for films stands undiminished and though he has only won a few awards, he has endeared himself to the audience with his portrayals in varied roles and along with veterans like Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, Siddique etc. remains always in contention for vibrant supporting roles.
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