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NFDC produces English film



The production unit of "Five String Quartet".

THE CHENNAI office of NFDC is producing an English film directed by a Chennai girl Roopa Swaminathan, who was understudy of Mani Ratnam for some years. She did her post graduation in Mass Communications from Kansas State University. She worked in Los Angeles for some years. She has also finished writing a non-fiction book about Bollywood called, "The Outsiders" to be published by Penguin. She wanted to direct a movie and approached the Corporation for financial assistance. The NFDC script committee accepted the script, Roopa was given the green signal.

The story revolves round five women and three men, so I named it "Five String Quartet," Roopa explains the title. The five girls are Shruthi, Namita, Meera, Shikha and Aishwarya — all ready to face life after graduation. They decide to meet after ten years.

Then is it story within a story? ``Yes, but I have made the screenplay in such a way that the main story has four small stories so that the audience can keep track of the lives of all the girls. The film is laid out like a novel, which has prologue, main story and epilogue."

The film, which was to be completed in 25 days, was finished in 18 days. ``I rehearsed with actors for nearly four months, four times a week. This immensely helped with few retakes."

What are the highlights of the film? ``Well, there are several and if I go at length on all of them I'll be giving away much of the story," says Roopa. After a pause, however, she says, ``Anyway I'll say this We have created a totally different look. The visual effect is outstanding, in portraying the moods and atmosphere of the various locations as the story moves from one person to another.

Another special feature is the use of steadicam. The equipment that is generally used to heighten tension has been used here to generate humour. The technical crew has been finalised. We are looking for the right person for the music." Ramakrishan, the regional manager of NFDC has said that the film, which comes with a social message, has all the ingredients to make it a success at the box office.

The film has Cary Edwards, Sapna and Usha all VJs in SS Music channel. Hardeep Minhas, popular Kannada model, Venkat, Preetha and Divya Darshini have appeared in many TV serials. The cast includes Eashwara Rao who makes his debut as actor. Bina Jha has taken care of costumes, Lenin is in charge of editing cinematography has been handled by Ravi Verman who did the Hindi film "Armaan" and the Tamil film "Five Star".

The film is written and directed by Roopa Swaminathan and produced for the National Film Development Corporation.

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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