Fifty days back, a film called Irudhi Suttru made its grand entry into the mystical world of cinema trade. The theatrical release of this Madhavan and Ritika Singh starrer attracted unanimous positive review along with some boasty numbers in box office.
The five women from Behindwoods, Jyothsna Bhavanishankar, Tamil Dharani, D Meera Chithirappaavai, Kavya Sathyamoorthy and Vaishnavi Krishnan with unflinching support from all their male associates decided to come up with this special interview with a purpose to compile the views of few women directors about this success story of their compatriot, Sudha Kongara.
March being the special chosen month to celebrate women, we present this piece as Behindwoods’ mode of saluting these creative minds.
The directors are arranged in the alphabetical order of their names.
1. Ashwini Iyer Tiwary - Amma Kanaku
Impact of Irudhi Suttru
I understood that you are more than what you think you are after watching Irudhi Suttru.
Nil Battey sannata & Amma Kanakku releasing next month.
2. Gayathrie Pushkar- Oram Po, Va Quarter Cutting
1. The impact of Irudhi Suttru's success on you?
Sudha is a good friend of mine and I am happy that the film really did well. Commercial success for women directors is getting really crucial. Even now there is discrimination against women and to a large extent it is a capitalistic industry. So this success means a lot. The best part of it is that, now lots of heroes will be willing to work with women directors because of this film. I am happy that this will open doors to other female directors.
2. Current Project
Currently we are working on a film called ‘Vikram - Veda’ starring Vijay Sethupathi and Madhavan in the lead roles.
3.Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi Stalin - Vanakam Chennai
Irudhi suttru’s success has given me the confidence to attemt an experimental subject.
My next project is in a nascent stage. Will make announcements in a while.
4. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan – Aarohanam, Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathey, Ammini
Your take on the commercial success of Irudhi Suttru
The commercial success from a woman director is much needed and a long awaited one. Even though we all don’t believe in the delineation of a male and a female director, when it comes to the industry, (not even the audience or the film makers), it will be an eye-opener of sorts for the middlemen who take the film from the maker to the audience. This success will change their perception about women filmmakers.
I am planning to do on Chennai floods. I am in the process of finalizing the script and cast. It is not an easy task. There are expectations and I have to deliver I have only heard that a simple announcement of a project will bring in a flood of buyers, but in my case, I am seeing it for real. Two to three good companies have come forward with a good price with different options which is very encouraging.
5. Madhumitha – Vallamai Thaaraayo, Kola Kolaya Mundhrikka, Moonae Moonu Vaarthai
About Irudhi Suttru
It is a fantastic thing that Irudhi Suttru made a mark both at the box office and got critical acclamation. This definitely will set an example that women directors should not be judged based on their gender but by their work. This film’s success speaks volumes about the people behind this project, right from Madhavan to the producer. It never mattered to them that the director was a woman. I am sure if many producers and actors come forward to making films with women directors by believing in their potential, the industry will see many ‘Irudhi Suttru’s.
I recently moved to Mumbai. I will be directing a Hindi film that will start during the end of the year. Meanwhile, I am the creative producer to few feature films.
6. Nandhini JS – Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru
Your take on the commercial success of Irudhi Suttru
Hats off to Sudha for breaking the myth that women directors cannot give a commercial success. She is my senior in the industry and her success is motivational not just for me but for many struggling women directors who are plenty now.
After my Kolai Nokku Paarvai (KNP) got dropped, I had to take a step backwards as my offers were not good. I did not want to get lost in the 300 films that release every year now. So I did the digital comic Sigappu Kal Mookuthi. I did not want to let go off KNP as it is my baby and I have spent 2.5 years scripting it. I am in the process of resurrecting it in the name of a digital comic Inspector Rishi.
7. Priya – Kanda Naal Mudhal
The impact of Irudhi Suttru's success on me has been wonderful. I feel energized and charged by it. Sudha is a close friend and we have worked together as well and it is always great to see your friend becoming successful.
I am writing two scripts and pitching them.
8. Usha Krishnan – Raja Mandhiri
How do you see the success of Irudhi Suttru? It gives a lot of positive hope. Although I don’t know Sudha personally, I am very happy about her success.
My first film Raja Mandhiri is awaiting its release in April and I am in the scripting stage of my next film.
Geetha Rajput- AD who has worked with director Bala and also has made a short film titled Kabali that has fetched her the Best Director Award
Congrats to Sudha ma’am. I liked Irudhi Suttru a lot. A simple knot that has been taken to different level by a good screenplay. I was thrilled when her name on the credits was received with thunderous claps which are only characteristic of heroes. There is a lot of energy and positive vibration. She has given a strong platform for women directors. Lots of producers and investors have a different mindset now. They are ready to give appointment to see us which was not the case earlier. They are listening to our views and are considering us seriously. Geetha will soon be directing her maiden film for a reputed production house.
Frankly, it is insulting being called a woman director. I read recently that a lady went to Ilayaraja sir and wondered how could he describe a woman’s feelings so well in a specific song. Raja sir, apparently answered her with a poser- Are the feelings of women and men different? I think that should say it all. A director is a director and there is no gender there. The feelings are one and the same. That said, to me, I am a director; I don’t want to be treated differently or special but the world wants to treat me that way. And that’s the world’s problem.
After 2 days of the release of my film, a girl AD told, “Ma’am, you have no idea what kind of confidence you have given me”. There is one more woman AD of a popular director who told me, “Till date, the producers were even refusing to see me. After Irudhi Suttru, one of them called and heard my narration, I am committed and doing my first film”. I was touched when I heard this because till such time, I never realized I have impacted anything. Because I come from Mani Ratnam’s school where there is no gender difference. But elsewhere, I do see those differences. I also heard that a girl was asked if she was jealous of Sudha’s success and she had replied, “How can I be jealous of Sudha as our struggles are the same”.
Highlight When you enter this field, please understand that it is an extremely difficult profession. It is a tough not just for women but also for men. You should have it in you to take you through. It has taken 16 years for me to get where I am today. Hang in there; believe in yourself as nobody else is going to believe in you. Don’t give up.
1. Believe in yourself and ignore the ones who say "You can’t". There are a whole lot of them out there to pull you down at every step.
2. Everything is hard in life, especially if you are trying to make a film it is hard. But if you really want something, you will have to work for it, no complaints
3.Believe in yourself. You need to be convinced first to convince your producers. Choose your producers rightly who will have a good marketing plan and abide by it.
4. Never let the fact that ‘I am a woman’ stop from wanting to achieve anything
5. Keep creating something or the other, although it could be daunting. Don’t be in the same rat race as men.
6. "Believing is seeing", because when you believe in yourself, then you will automatically see success.
7. Be emotionally strong.There is male dominance and differential treatment in all professions. If you are not able to handle that, you can never face anything in life.