Reporting by Janani K; Photos by Sriram Narasimhan. Photos from the press meet are below the report.
Azhagu Kutti Chellam is Antony Thirunelveli’s maiden film production venture. Antony is the director of the popular television debate show ‘Neeya Naana‘. At the press meet for the film, he emphasised that Charles, the director of Azhagu Kutti Chellam, had taken a bold step in agreeing to direct a film about relationships and values, given the prevalence of individual-focused and horror films. He said, “I am dead against individual-focused films themed around lust. I feel these films aren’t true to the emotions in a story. I wanted to make a film that appeals to a family audience.”
Azhagu Kutti Chellam has a large cast with Aadukalam Naren, Rithwika (of Madras fame), Narayan, Krisha Kurup, Vinodhini, Thambi Ramaiah, John Vijay, George, Yazhini (of ‘Super Singer’ fame), and Karunas’s son Ken, all playing major characters. Each actor unanimously agreed that the film was a perfect family entertainer, and that director Charles had integrated all the sub-plots beautifully.
Music director Ved Shanker shared his initial inhibitions about composing for the film, “Since the film is based on family values, I was a little nervous. I’m young and I don’t have much experience. But both Anthony and Charles gave me a lot of freedom and space to work on the score. The thought of making Shakthishree Gopalan sing with Keba Jeremiah’s guitar score was a huge plus point for me. And for the first time in my career, I was able to record a 30-piece orchestra. I also collaborated with many leading singers for Azhagu Kutti Chellam.”
Charles said that he thinks of Anthony as a brother and not as a producer, “I’ve know him from the time I graduated [with a Diploma in Film Technology]. He has been a pillar of strength. Anthony’s strong point is non-fiction, while mine is fiction. So, we decided to use our complementary talents to make a beautiful film. I feel that Azhagu Kutti Chellam‘s real achievement is the introduction of Anthony as a producer. This film talks about children’s mentality and parent’s understanding of that,” he said.