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Film-maker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, who is making her Tamil directorial debut with Amma Kanakku, which is releasing in cinemas this Friday (June 24), says she never felt like an outsider working in the industry.
Amma Kanakku is the Tamil remake of Ashwiny's own Nil Battey Sannata.
"The Tamil film industry has been very kind to me. I never felt like an outsider. Thanks to Wunderbar Films and Dhanush for believing in me and backing my vision," Ashwiny told IANS.
She had never planned to make the film in Tamil originally. However, she wished it reached wider audiences.
"This is a story which needs to be told. When Aanand L Rai, the producer of 'Nil Battey Sannata', shared the trailer with Dhanush, he instinctively wanted to make it. I wasn't sure about the idea, even though I wanted my story to travel. But then Dhanush has his way of convincing me," she said, adding she's glad she got to work in Tamil filmdom.
"Otherwise, I would not have experienced this side of the industry and worked with the best of minds. I consider myself very lucky," she said.
The film stars Amala Paul in the role originally played by Swara Bhaskar.
It was Dhanush who felt Amala could do justice to Swara's role.
"We had a round of discussions and Dhanush chose Amala, because she's a real performer. Although I had not known much about her, I knew I could extract the kind of performance I want for the role. It was a tough role, but I feel she worked really hard to play her character with such conviction," she said.
Ashwiny, in order to avoid being influenced by Swara's performance while working with Amala, treated both the films separately and not as remakes.
"I did not want to shoot the Tamil version as I shot the original. The Tamil version has its own milieu and it is wrong to compare actors since they come with their own style and concepts. I allow the actors to breathe and together we try to create a framework for this story," she said.
Admitting that the success of "Nil Battey Sannata" has added pressure on her, she said: "It's a good feeling to be nervous and over confident. Each film finds its own path. This story needs to be told, and I have told it from the heart. The rest is for the audience to see and judge."
Ashwiny's Amma Kanakku started off as a one-off attempt, but she says if she finds more stories that need to travel then she will definitely make them in Tamil.
The film also stars Revathy and Samuthirakani.