Producer Siva Ananth talks about Asian Film Awards’ ‘Ponniyin Selvan: 1’ – Variety

Producer Siva Ananth talks about Asian Film Awards’ ‘Ponniyin Selvan: 1’ – Variety

Siva Ananth, one of the producers of Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus “Ponniyin Selvan: 1”, is delighted with the film’s rich collection of nominations at the Asian Film Awards.

The film received a total of six nominations, including Best Picture. It is an adaptation of the classic novel in Tamil language by Kalki Krishnamurthy.

The story is set in 10th century India during a tumultuous era of the Chola Empire, when the power struggle between the various branches of the ruling family caused violent rifts between the potential successors of the reigning emperor and that a civil war has become imminent. All the political and military turmoil led to the Cholas becoming the most prosperous and powerful empire on the continent and one of the most prosperous and oldest in history.

“Ponniyin Selvan” was serialized in Kalki magazine between 1950 and 1954 and was published in five novels in 1955. Ratnam, alongside Elango Kumaravel and B. Jeyamohan, condensed it into a two-part film, including the first part was released in 2022. .

“It’s such a great honor, honestly, because ‘Ponniyan Selvan’ is a story that was written decades ago and depicts a time 1000 years ago. It’s a fictional representation but very entertaining story of Tamil culture. And for it to get global recognition like this, that’s probably the power of cinema. A good story is a good story, so we feel very good about that,” Ananth said. . Variety. “Technically, this film was a challenge for all the senior technicians, everyone had to work in their own skin. And everyone had to pull out their best cards to get there. And for them to gain recognition on the world stage, it couldn’t be better.

The first part of the film was a huge hit, grossing $61 million worldwide.

“The biggest surprise for us was [that] this movie brought people back to the movies who hadn’t been to the movies in decades. When people plan movies, they talk about the demographics they want to impress and what their target audience would be. We didn’t do it, we did it for everyone. And the thing is, that attracted a lot of middle-aged and older people to cinemas, people who would generally be more comfortable watching something at home, who had moved on to streaming platforms for their regular entertainment. They all came in droves. And they shared happiness with everyone,” Ananth said.

“It comes from the fact that these are the people who had read the novel or whose parents had told them about the novels. And suddenly you find an opportunity to see it on the big screen. And all of this contributes to the positivity and general enthusiasm of all the spectators. So it was good to be back on the big screen. And that snowballed into greater success,” adds Ananth.

The second part of the film will be released on April 28.

“If you’ve read the novel, you probably know where the story is going to take you, but the majority of us wouldn’t have read it. So all the hooks that are set up in the first part will have resolutions, and the story will culminate. Just wait for more entertainment,” Ananth said.

One of India’s most famous filmmakers, whose works include ‘Nayakan’, ‘Bombay’ and ‘Iruvar’, Ratnam read the novel when he was in high school and has wanted to do it ever since. After the tremendous critical and commercial success of “Nayakan” (1987), when the lead of this film, Kamal Haasan, wanted to make another film with Ratnam, the filmmaker considered “Ponniyin Selvan”, but the stars did not agree. did not line up at that time.

Ratnam’s next film is with Haasan. Ananth says it’s too early to reveal the film’s genre.

“Ponniyin Selvan: 1” is produced by Ratnam’s Madras Talkies and Subaskaran’s Lyca Prods. (“2.0”). The film was also nominated at the Asian Film Awards for editor A. Sreekar Prasad, cinematographer Ravi Varman, composer AR Rahman, costume designer Eka Lakhani and production designer Thota Tharani.

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