‘Now that I have made my first film, I’m ready to die’

Three directors who made strong debuts this year—P Virumandi, RDM, and Desingh Periyasamy—come together for this special year-end conversation, as they discuss struggles, inspirations, and future plans

As the thousands who pour into Chennai every year with directorial aspirations can attest, making your first film can be quite an ordeal. It’s harder still in the present, when theatres are not fully open, when a raging, ever-evolving pandemic continues to stunt the economy. And yet, as Dumbledore said in Harry Potter, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” In 2020, a year quite detrimental to cinema, there is still the delightful footnote of first-time directors delivering some impressive work, including films like Dharala Prabhu, Andhaghaaram, Sethum Aayiram Pon, and Oh My Kadavule. For this special year-end session, we managed to bring together three of the many impressive debutants this year, P Virumandi (Ka Pae Ranasingham), RDM (Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban), and Desingh Periyasamy (Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal), in conversation.


What did you all think of each other’s films?

P Virumandi: I caught Kannum Kannum at a night show, and while I’m hardly one to stay awake past 9 pm, I was totally involved with this film. Sorry brother (glances at director RDM), I couldn’t catch your film. I look forward to it. I think it’s great that we are all together in conversation here. I offer my gratitude to nature for making this happen, despite the tough year we have all encountered.

Desingh Periyasamy: I was quite impressed with how Virumandi made such a striking feature film from the sort of idea most producers will be reluctant to take on. About Kaavalthurai Ungal Nanban, I’m frightened of police brutality and so, haven’t mustered up the courage to catch the film. I love the sarcasm behind the title (Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban) though.

RDM: Thank you. I floated the idea of this film and was astonished at how many people had bad things to say about their experience with the police department. About the other two films, I enjoyed watching Kannum Kannum… at Albert. I found the messaging in Ka Pae to be really fresh; it was an educative experience for me.

For the remainder of this conversation (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), visit ‘Now that I have made my first film, I’m ready to die’- Cinema express

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