Thursday, 26 January 2017

'CIFF screening, a recognition for a frustrated director', says Uriyadi maker

When a generation-X director handles crucial and sensational subjects in his work, it will always drag in huge critical and ideological crowd into the screens when filmed. But, for Vijay Kumar, who had made his debut flick 'Uriyadi' based on communalism in and around rural parts of Tiruchy district, it is one level up as his movie that was screened in Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) on January 9, 2017.

The movie could rope in audience from international entities. Several Russians, Europeans and Far East Asians watched Uriyadi in CIFF that was screened at the Russian Cultural Center in the city. Having dealt with a very crucial subject, a social issue in his first attempt, Vijay Kumar interacted with some of the spectators including me, in much of light headed attitude and in a cool way after the screening of his film.

His interaction was full of failures, disappointments and the challenges he had faced before releasing Uriyadi. Here are some of the excerpts of that interaction.

A frame from Uriyadi


Q1. How do you feel watching your movie being screened in an international film festival?

Its been six months since I had watched Uriyadi in big screen and that too in such a big event. What else could a director who had faced a lot of challenges in releasing his first film say after this. This is simply a great honour for the team of Uriyadi I should say.

Q2. What was your challenge that stopped you from releasing Uriyadi?

I really do not know where to start as there were a lot. Starting from the cuts in censor board for which I had to wait for several months and finally I could only get a U/A even after removing 50 per cent of action sequences. Similarly, I had to compromise in some places like adding songs to the story line.

Q3. Now after being screened in CIFF, do you think that Uriyadi has really been recognised?

CIFF is one recognition that I would state as Uriyadi's milestone. Despite that, I cannot take only this as a recognition as I am still not able to sell the television rights of the movie. My movie was not commercially recognised as it was critically applauded which had ultimately ended up me in losing all my properties and assets that were sold to balance the loss.

Q4. Apart from this what were the technical challenges you faced while making the film as it is set in back drop of 1999?

Yes, it was really difficult for our team to recreate that year. Actually that was not by intention to raise the plot in 1999 but, all I wanted was to remove the shades of 2013 in which I started filming Uriyadi. We had to look into every inch and pinch of the movie from using the Cellular Phone of that time, the set up of a dhabba to the cut-outs and banners of politicians of that time.

Q5. So, what social issue would be put forward in Vijay Kumar's next flick?

I am really done with social issues as I do not have anything left in hand to invest. I had invested all my money and property for the first film that I filmed for my satisfaction and whatever I wanted to tell the society. So, my next project will be a love story for the taste of the people and producers.

Santhosh Mathevan
Chennai, January 10, 2017.

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