For starters, the producer is behind the remake of the crowd-funded sensation Lucia, and is also an ardent supporter of short filmmakers. So at an event hosted to:
1. Launch a site which aims to be “the kick-starter for Indian cinema” – and
2. Is also the grand finale of Screenplay 2014, a competition to recognise talented short film screenplay writers,
there was no better option.
In a deep blue shirt and with none of the nervous energy he betrays at events hosted by his own company, CV Kumar was a benevolent presence on-stage. With a kind smile reminiscent of your friendly salvation army Santa, he patiently handed out trophies to the winners. And also braved the sweltering heat without breaking out in a sweat.
Also present was Meera Kathiravan, who seemed to be in a hurry. “I have a night shoot today and need to go there immediately. So I will keep this short. I am producing and directing Vizhithiru now and I promise to finance the best screenplay from the award winners today. Someday, I hope to be as big a success as CV Kumar.”
To which declaration, CV Kumar bestowed yet another gentle smile upon him.
When it was finally time for CV Kumar to speak, he did so with panache, offering advice to the young filmmakers and producers. But not before he told us the Soodhu Kavvum story. “Everyone thinks the movie was a big hit everywhere, but that was not the case. There were theatres where the film barely made twenty thousand and we covered the loss.
…Before agreeing to finance any movie, you must be clear about your intention. If you want to make profits, you must have a separate strategy for it. If you look at the film as an art form and are not concerned with the profits, then you should employ a completely different one.”
He also said that producers and directors ‘must behave like lovers’, if they want to be successful. “I didn’t want to say like a husband and wife, because so many marriages fail these days,” he quipped and stepped away from the dais, to make way for Mohammad AK Jialani, the man behind the site. Though he was visibly nervous to be the object of attention, he nonetheless made the most of it, putting forward a sensible argument supporting the concept. “It’s high time that Kollywood had a crowdfunding site,” thundered Jialani from the stage. “There is a dearth of producers willing to take on quality scripts. Instead of feeling disheartened by it and dropping the idea altogether, youngsters can now sign up on our site and ask for help to fund their dreams.”
Jialani, along with his associate Muthuramalincoln, who directed Snehavin Kathalargal, plans on bringing a more disciplined approach to Tamil film production. They want to test their crowd-funding site with their own ‘dreams’ first. Roobachithira Mamarathu Kiliye and Sound Camera Action, both horror films, will open for investment soon on their site. Jialani, who has a background in software engineering said, “This is like beta testing. We are trying out with our own projects and hope that we get the right investors.”