The video features all the nine directors and protagonists of each segments describing their experiences
A poster of Navarasa
The first-of-its-kind Tamil anthology, Navarasa, which featured nine shorts, dealing with nine emotions was released on Netflix, which opened to mixed response from critics and audiences alike. The streaming platform has now released BTS video which is of almost 10-minute duration, which has all the nine directors and protagonists of each segments narrating their intriguing experiences. As the intention behind the project was the welfare of Kollywood crew members whose lives were hit badly by the pandemic, the video begins with Mani Ratnam, one of its producers, talking about how the whole idea was shaped up.
He said, "I think the film industry is filled with daily wage earners, and when this pandemic happened, they were very badly hit from the first day. When shooting stops, their income stops." Jayendra, who produced the project along with Mani, explained how all the nine filmmakers came on board and added that audience can expect more such initiatives in the future.
Bejoy, who directed Edhiri, said he considers himself to be fortunate to have called upon to associate with the project. He said, "I had just finished a film which dealt with 'rage', so I chose 'compassion' for my segment in Navarasa. It was Madhavan who suggested Vijay Sethupathi. He has an infectious energy; Prakash Raj sir and Revathy ma'am were riffing on it. Mani sir used to say when you have phenomenal actors around, you shouldn't do anything, just watch them perform. That's exactly what I did in my short."
Karthik Subbaraj, who made Peace, said that it was the genuineness behind the project which attracted him to it, and that directing Gautham Menon was an interesting experience. "I liked Minnale and Kaakka Kaakka during my college days and I have always admired him as a filmmaker. The 11-minute single shot was a big challenge for us, but we pulled it off, and all of us were satisfied with the output. "
What fascinated Gautham was the idea of nine filmmakers making nine emotions. "Karthik knew what he wanted from me. He was very clear in his thoughts. For my short, I wanted it to do this with Suriya as I haven't seen him in that zone in a long time. I had a great learning experience working with PC sir again," he said.
For Suriya, the five days she spent working for Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru was one of his most favourite days. He said, "Working with my dear friend Gautham and legend PC sir was quite ann experience, and the fact that the project helped many families of film industry was gratifying.
Arvind Swamy, who is all praise for Karthick Naren for Project Agni, says he is a real talent with modern thoughts. On his directorial debut Roudhiram, he said he has always wanted to be a director and that he used to irritate Mani Ratnam with his boring stories right from the 90s. "Working with Santhosh and AR Rahman was fun. I know tem for quite a long time," he said.
Rathindran R Prasad, who made Inmai with Siddharth and Parvathy, said the challenge for him was to maintain heightened fear throughout the film. For Priyadarshan, it was the cause which made him more excited than his film. He also said that working with Yogi Babu and others for seven days for Summer of 92 was an enjoyable experience. Vasanth, who made Payasam, based on Janakiraman's novel, said he loved working with Delhi Ganesh and the one-minute song Justin Prabhakaran came up with .
When Karthick Naren was asked to come on board, the first thing he asked he is the emotion 'wonder' was available as Project Agni was the only story he had in mind. Sarjun, who made Thunintha Pin based on a story by Mani himself, said the biggest challenge was to bring the veteran's story effectively on screen. Siddharth, Yogi Babu, Rythvika and Prasanna, too, narrated their experiences working on their respective segments.