This autorickshaw driver is revving up the film street

This autorickshaw driver is revving up the film street

Submitted by Editor on Thu, 2016-02-04 16:45 Coimbatore: Auto Chandran, an autorickshaw driver in Coimbatore and part-time novelist, is coming out with his second Tamil feature film -- the latest deaking with sexual feelings of the today generation. This autorickshaw driver had hit big time last year when award winning Tamil film director Vetrimaraan picked up his novel dealing with police brutality and made it into a feature film. It had also won an award at International Film festival in Venice. The film, Visaaranai, was released commercially last week and had a good opening as also received good acclaim from critics.  Vetrimaraan who has trained under legendary director Balu Mahendra for 11 years himself is an intense film maker whose film portray reality and are an honest depiction of the societal churn in the times we live. He himself was looking at working with M Chandrakumar known in Coimbatore as Auto Chandran where he has been plying an auto for several years for a living in the future too. Producer director with auto chandran discussing script of the untitled film.   But what the film award at Venice and release of first feature film – Visaaranai based on Auto Chandran’s novel Lock Up – has meant is that Auto Chandran is getting offers from the Tollywood industry."I am very happy that people are seeing the film now in theatres," Chandran told BFirst.in over phone.  Now, it is a local young film maker from Coimbatore, Vinod Kamili, an engineering graduate from a college and a film maker, who has begun working with Auto Chandran on a new film.The theme of this film is bold -- current day sexual attitude and approach of the youth. First shoot of the film, yet to be titled, is over. Envisaged as a low budget film, under Rs 50 lakh, this film revolves around the life and times of youth and is shot mainly in couple of locations and is strong in its content and messaging. Or so says film director Vinod in conversation with Bfirst.in when it caught up with him over phone. “I got inspired by Chandran sir’s life as well as his writings and this film is based on his work Veppamatra Velloliyal (white light with heat) that deals with the sexual urges and feelings of the youth,” Vinod said adding that Chandran sir was doing the screenplay and dialogues for the film, adapting his novel to translate it into the big screen. “It is the theme that I have picked up from his novel but the story, the characters and treatment are new and who better to do it than Auto Chandran,” said Vinod in a respectful tone. Incidentally, it was his friend who was friendly with Chandran’s daughter who connected the young film maker with the writer/author/autodriver, some five months ago. Since then, I have had several meetings with Chandran Sir and have come to admire him for what he has done, Vinod said. Which is why, I thought that he was the best person to do screenplay and write dialogues for my maiden film venture,” he said. The story is an account of the life of 20 characters in 24 hours – one night and one day—and it deals with the delicate subject of young student’s interaction with prostitutes as well as a subtheme to tell the story of the current day youth’s sexual feelings and frustrations, he said. “There are only five locations, all in Coimbatore where the film will be shot,” Vinod said. Auto Chandran himself is pretty happy with the direction his life is now taking. “There are some producers from Chennai who are in touch, but nothing concrete has yet emerged. But, working with Veterimaaran Sir was a tremendous high for me,” Chandran said. M Chandrakumar, a 10th class pass is 53-year old auto-rickshaw driver in Coimbatore. He has written several short stories and six novels, one of which Lock Up, an autobiographical account of his own prison life in Andhra Pradesh where he was arrested for no reason, became the subject matter of Visaaranai, a feature film by director Vetrimaaran. It became the first Tamil film to be selected for International Film festival at Venice. Vetrimaaran took along Auto Chandran with him to Venice to participate in the film’s screening. The film won an award at the festival as well. For Auto Chandran, who had little formal training, “life has been my teacher”. And his inspiration to write – first-hand experience of police brutality and oppression when he was in his early 20s in AP. It became a novel, Lock Up and later five more followed. All in Tamil.