A 22-year-old youth Karthick Naren is the new ‘star’ of Kollywood, the fertile land of experimental movies in south India. The youngster from Coimbatore has proved his mettle through his recently released crime thriller movie, Dhruvangal Pathinaru. The new sensation of Tamil film industry has now signed for his new movie with prominent south Indian filmmaker Gautham Menon. Karthick shares SouthLive about his entry to the film world, ambitions and dreams as a director.
Would you share with our readers about your journey to becoming a film director at the age of 22?
I must say there are pros and cons in starting your career at the younger age. Before shooting of the film, it was a big disadvantage for me since many people lacked the confidence to come forward to take up the project with me. However, having foreseen it, I never became down or felt bad with them. I approached several people with the project and failed in convincing them that I was serious about it.
But after these initial struggles, I mastered the art of convincing and succeeded . Then things started falling in right places.
By the time we started shooting, the whole crew was very supportive and were aware of my conviction. Therefore, the matter of age was not a problem.
After release, young age turned out to be an advantage as film lovers were curious to know what I have done. I am happy that it also became a motivation to several youths across the nation who are very passionate about doing movies.
How you got attracted to cinema ?
I used to watch movies from very childhood and it was my favourite hobby. But I was not sure about considering it as my profession. I decided to become a filmmaker after I started doing short films. Later on, the love for making a movie grew in me and I came to know that this is what I am going to do. That is how I landed up at film making.
You were widely applauded for the script. How was scripting experience and how many days it took for that?
I am a very big fan of thriller movies and before sitting to write down the script, I had this determination that my first movie should be the kind of film I would like to watch at cinemas. That was the reason behind deciding upon genre of the movie.
It took two months for me to complete the script. After that, I took a two months break in which I was researching on how to make it better and engaging. And one month I spent reworking on it and making it ready for shoot. That means, there is a hard work of five months behind the script.
How did you select actor Rahman to play the lead role? Were you writing the story keeping him in mind?
No. There was no one in my mind while I wrote the story. After I was done with it, I approached him knowing that he is open to experimentations in the industry. He is not an actor who team up with only commercial mainstream movies. And, first, he was reluctant to play the character as he was fed up with doing police roles. But, after I narrated the story to him, he realised the potential in the script and showed interest in the project.
I wanted to give my audience a feel of reading a crime novel, instead of watching a movie. The narration was my prime concern and I was fully concentrated on it.
As a director, do you think that people from your age group are serious and truly passionate about making good films?
There are many people from my age group with abundant talent who are waiting outside to get a chance to prove their mettle. I can guarantee you that what they needed is a chance to prove it. Once they got it, there will not be any stopping for them.
I personally know many such people who are waiting for a break. That is why we announced that our production company will be producing movies of such newcomers and we are working on it. We hope we can produce the first of such kind anytime sooner.
As a start, our banner ‘Knight Nostalgia Filmotainment’ will produce some short films. Because for every wannabe filmmaker will be starting their career my making short films. However, since there is no returns or profits in making short films, finding out a producer is a big task for such newcomers.
Our aim is to come in handy of such talented budding filmmakers by producing their short films and opening their door into the world of cinema.
You have already said in several functions about the kind of support you receive from your family. How was it?
I have said this many time before but I still wish to say that my parents stood as pillars of support for me. They considered me as an independent individual giving me all the freedom to pursue my dreams. That is the sole reason for me to reach where I am right now, and everything else is secondary.
I decided to become a professional filmmaker while doing my third year in Mechanical engineering. I went and told my father that I don’t think this is the line for me and I found myself alienated in engineering. I said I want to discontinue the study and start filmmaking. He had not any objection and told me to discontinue engineering and start looking for a movie. They agreed with me to go about filmmaking, even though both of them are into academics.
My father is a double Ph.D. holder working in an educational consultancy for disabled people and my mother is a chemistry professor. But, they never insisted me to opt for academics. At the same time my father told me to think twice before I start it and wished me all the best for my new decision.
Youths in Tamil Nadu are in forefronts of several protests held in the state recently including Jallikkattu protest held in Marina beach, Chennai. How do you see this?
I see it as a good sign. We have noticed during Jallikkattu protest that they are coming forward to the protest without any compulsion. They are all well aware of politics of the protest. There were a lot of celebrities as well taking part in it. But youths never cared about them and considered them as only a fellow Tamil Nadu citizen.This happened because they were fully aware of their motive.
What is the current status of your next movie Narakasuran?
Its name derived from the myth associated with Diwali. The inner meaning of the title is ‘the devil within’. It is a suspense drama which is entirely different from the story of Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru. Gautham Menon is producing the film. The details of cast and crew will be officially announced by the end of March.
There were reports that D 16’s Malayalam remake will be made.
As of now, the decision of remaking it in Malayalam has been dropped. Because a lot of people from Kerala have already watched the movie. Many have watched it online through legal and illegal platforms. However, D 16 with Malayalam subtitles will hit the screens of the state on 10 March.