Chennai: As like any aspiring director, Ram Mahindra had his own share of battles to set his foot in the film industry. Being a fighter that he is, he endured the shackles and is all chuffed for his upcoming Hindi feature film Mansi.
In a tete-a-tete with News Today, the director-cum-writer traces the trajectory.
“The interest was sown way back when I was a school kid. I learnt that one of my neighbours had graduated from a cinema institute and joined as an assistant director to K Balachandar sir,” the director recalls.
Besides this, having grown in Ooty, the serene environment always inspired him. “We walked past tea estates to reach the school and played in the woods. The placid surrounding kindled the urge,” he adds.
As a young child, Ram invested his time in watching good films and he states that Balu Mahendra’s Kadhai Neram and Naga’s Marmadesam impacted him.
Moved by the shows, he dropped from his diploma education and expressed his desire to get into film-making to his parents and as in the many other instance, he did not earn support from them. Twelve years ago the aspirant moved to Chennai and went through several ordeals. He approached director Balu Mahendra and enacted a scene. The director took a note of him and kept his abilities in his account.
As circumstamces crystallised, Ram’s first project was Balu Mahendra’s Adhu Oru Kaana Kaalam where he was an apprentice.
“Following which, I worked with director Thamira in the film Rettaisuzhi as an assistant director. I later worked with – Vaanam and Hindi flick Talaash, Kappal and OK Kanmani,” an enthusiastic Ram narrates.
Having worked as an assistant director in five films, Ram has evolved as a director. His official directorial debut is his 47-minute telefilm Manam. Having also written the script, he states that the film was made in the budget of Rs 12 lakh.
“Manam is a movie that I have been wanting to make. Prominent directors from Tamil film industry attended the preview show,” Ram adds.
Awed by the film, he states that veteran director R V Udayakumar called up the technicians on to the stage and honoured them. Directors Balaji Shakthivel, Chezhiyan, Adam, Thamira, Suresh and Mani Nagaraj are a few among the personalities who attended the show among others. Having received an incredible response, Ram is awaiting for an opportunity to release Manam on an OTT platform.
Speaking about his takeaways from his 12 years of journey in Indian film industry, he says, “My passion is to make a movie that is not just loaded with masala but make good films like my teacher Balu Mahendra sir. To me, a director should also be socially responsible and I think I have been able to exert it in Manam.”
As things worked out, he gained his family support. “My wife Sandhya Ram Mahindra was the costume designer and supported me a lot in terms of finance. My daughter Manasa’s energy on hearing tracks from Manam kept me going.”
Next up, Ram is all thrilled to direct and write his Hindi feature flick Mansi.
“Mansi would be a realistic film with loads of emotions. Since it is my first film, I want to be a bit cautious and not too keen to make it a budget film. I believe money can be earned any time,” the director concludes.