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What's in a name?

Samuthirakani has met with serial success. Ask him how

PHOTO:R. ASHOK

NAME AND FAME Samuthirakani

So, what's in a name? Ask Samuthirakani and he will put it succinctly. "There is something in it." For he believes that his name, rather a rare one, has in some way or the other helped him gain an identity in tinsel town.

"There may be hundreds of Sureshes or Rameshes in the film industry. But to the best of my knowledge, I am the only Samuthirakani and my name has attracted the attention of many," he says settling down for a chat.

Having learnt the tricks of the trade from K. Balachander, under whom he worked as an assistant for films such as `Kalki' and `Parthale Paravasam,' a `Best Story' State award for his debut-directorial venture `Unnai Charanadainthen' came as no surprise. But after `Neranja Manasu' he is yet to wield the megaphone again for the big screen.

"I know the gap is a bit long. But after the failure of `Neranja... ' at the box-office I decided that my next movie should be a smash hit. I declined some of the offers and although I was busy with TV serials, I worked carefully on a story on the sidelines. Now I am all set to begin the project," he says, referring to his new assignment to be produced by P.A. Arts with Cheran in the lead. Shooting is slated to begin in June.

Tele-film direction

"Friendship was the theme of my first movie. My new project has the same theme but a different dimension." He has also signed up to direct a tele-film for Radaan Media Works with Simran as heroine.

Samuthirakani, who shot to fame through the TV serial "Anni," doesn't forget to point out the role played by Sundar K. Vijayan in his career. "I worked as his assistant for the soap `Unjal' and it was a great experience. I gained knowledge about the nuances of serial-making from him," he says. Incidentally, it was Samuthirakani, who took charge as director of `Selvi' from Sundar K. Vijayan, after the serial had completed almost 350 episodes.

Separate entities

Now busy with the serial `Arasi,' he describes the small and big screens as two separate entities. "I feel the real challenge lies in making serials. Unlike cinema, an episode is aired only once and should make an instant impact on the viewers."

Samuthirakani describes Radhika as a versatile performer. "I should consider myself lucky to work with an actor of Radhika's calibre," says Samuthirakani, who also directed the game show "Thanga Vettai" for Radaan.

Samuthirakani has continued his association with the big screen, being a co-director to K. Balachander and Ameer for the films "Poi" and "Paruthi Veeran".

"KB sir is my guru and Ameer my good friend. It's a pleasure to work with them," he says.

G. PRASAD

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