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    Producer CV Kumar on backing talented debutant directors and his latest, 144

    After delivering a long streak of critically acclaimed films, producer CV Kumar’s banner Thirukumaran Entertainment’s latest venture, 144, is all set to release today. The producer tells us to expect a simple and entertaining movie. Written and directed by Kumar’s childhood friend and debut director G Manikandan, the producer says, “He was always inclined towards creative activities. He used to participate in dramas and dance troupes. In early 2014, we started the discussion of this movie.” Kumar himself was quite the movie buff even as a child and shares, “I used to watch two to three movies per day sometimes, along with my friends. I remember once we saw MGR’s Adimaipenn thrice on the same day!”
    “All I want is for my audience to look at the cinema screen rather than their phone screens for two and a half hours,” says the producer. 144 is about two fictitious villages based around Madurai. “Movies sometimes tend to depict people of Madurai as folk constantly involved in fights. People there are actually hospitable, very friendly and have a sense of humour.”

    Backing new talent
    Kumar has always backed first timers. With his first successful production Attakathi, he tells us how the then debut director Pa Ranjith’s (currently directing Rajinikanth’s Kabali) clarity of process and the right timing saw the movie through. “Then we sold it to Studio Green for distribution, I remember calling them everyday and asking for an update about the release date.” After a long wait of six months, the movie finally reached theatres. Another first-timer, director Karthik Subbaraj’s, Pizza promotions were all about social media says Kumar. “For Pizza, we contacted group admins, page admins for one whole month. When this worked, I realised how integral this tool could be,” says the producer.
    Spotting other trends he says, “Sometimes the audience unanimously tends to go for a movie. For example, nowadays Tamil Nadu watches all horror movies which release like Maya, Demonte Colony, Kanchana 2. It’s just the mass psychology”
    With plans of entering the Telugu market with his own debut directorial venture, Kumar is planning a remake of Indru Netru Naalai which he had produced earlier. Starring Sundeep Kishan and Taapsee Pannu, the shooting will commence soon in Hyderabad.

    144 releases today.

    — Seema Rajpal

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