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    Actor Shivaji DevA� talks about hisA� fan film andA� future prospects

    The last time a Star Wars film hit the screens a�� Attack of the Clones in 2002 a�� actor Shivaji Dev, grandson of the legendary Sivaji Ganesan, was in college. He remembers getting a Darth Vader costume to watch the movie in. 13 years on, and the announcement of a new three film franchise, his Star Wars frenzy hasna��t dwindled. With The Force Awakens hitting cinemas, he plans to release a fan film, to cash in on the Star Wars fever, using his prized costume for his role.

    a�?Fan films are all the rage in European countries. But the culture doesna��t exist in India at all. Star Wars, The Force Within is an attempt by me and my friends to show the world that there are die-hard fans of the franchise in India, too, especially in my hometown Chennai,a�? says the fanboy, who took a whole month to make this film. Dona��t be surprised if you hear a smattering of Tamil in the dialogues, a�?included to let the world know that the movie came from Chennaia�?, says the actor, who produced the 15-minute film along with friends, besides scripting and directing it. He also plays Darth Vader and a Jedi. The cast includes actor MS Bhaskar, who plays a Jedi Master, and Deva��s friends Suja Varunee, Misha Ghoshal and Kanna Ravi.

    Despite his illustrious lineage, stardom has eluded the 29-year-old, who has four films to his credit. After his debut Singakutty (2008), tanked at the box office, he went on to study acting and choreography at Balu Mahendraa��s film institute.

    a�?I followed it up with a few theatre performances in English and Tamil for a year and a half and then came back to feature films,a�? he says candidly. Of the other three features, one never saw the light of day and another sank without a trace. a�?What really came as a big break was Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum, a film for the production house AVM, which was released online in 2014 and got favourable press. I will start work on a multi-starrer with a big name in February this year,a�? says the actor, who is confident but careful not to make a misstep again.
    For now, however, Deva��s focus is on his fan film, which is slated to be released on YouTube in January. That, and watching The Force Awakens a few more times on the big screen and soaking in the Star Wars craze.
    a�� Sharadha Narayanan


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