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    Ike Hari gets behind the camera to direct him first movie, a family thriller set  to release later this year.

    The apple does not fall far from the tree, so they say. And this has come true in the case of Ike Hari, whose lineage comprise the illustrious MR Radha (grandfather), actor Radha Ravi (uncle) and actress-producer Raadhika Sarathkumar (aunt). Busy shooting for his directorial debut, Sangili Bungili Kathava Thorae, in Palani—which will release later this year—Ike talks to us about the journey so far.

    Stepping stone

    It was his uncle, Ravi, who encouraged him to join film school and take up direction. “I went to Digital Academy in Mumbai and, after completing my course, my uncle took me to director Priyadarshan who would become my mentor for the next few years. I started with Bhagam Bhag (2006) and went on to assist him in eight movies,” informs the 35-year-old. Ike’s next big break came when he was called to be part of Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam. He later worked on the sequel as well. “Working with these stalwarts was most fortunate and it helped me learn firsthand the craft of filmmaking,” he says. While working on Vishwaroopam, he managed to secure his first solo project, Sangili Bungili Kathava Thorae, with director Atlee’s production house, A for Apple. The movie is now being produced as a joint venture with Foxstar. The film features Jiiva and Sri Divya, and the plot revolves around a family that comes together to ward off evil spirits who invade their home.

    Cinema scope

    “I believe that everyone should have fun when they come to the cinema. I think that a director’s job is to tell stories that entertain the audience and ensure that they get their money’s worth.  I am inspired by real-life incidents and most often I find that life is stranger than fiction,” shares the commerce post-graduate who loves family-themed stories.

    His family is equally excited about Ike’s foray into direction. In fact, both Ravi and Radhikaa Sarathkumar are part of his debut, playing pivotal roles. Ike feels that Tamil movies are metamorphosing and that young directors are leading that change. “I think the advent of multiplexes and the access to international films and national cinema have helped change audience expectations.”
    When not busy shooting and travelling to locations, he says, “I used to race cars in Coimbatore in the Single Seater Formula Category. But now  that has literally taken the back seat. Standing (on my feet) twenty four by seven is my idea of a workout and eating without a second thought is my idea of a diet,” concludes the director with a laugh.

    —Rahul Dev

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