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Ajit in driver's seat

March 14, 2003 18:05 IST

Tamil star Ajit is now in Malaysia to participate in the 2003 Asia Formula Renault Championship on March 22 and 23.

AjitThe actor met with an accident in February while shooting for Jana and had to undergo a knee operation. Though he was advised six to eight weeks rest, Ajit was up soon and completed shooting the film. He wants Jana to be released on his birthday, May 1.

Major portions of Jana were shot at Cheruthuruthi (home of the Kerala Kalamandalam) near Shoranur, Kerala. The location was chosen by director Shaji Kailas.

Aside: Cheruthuruthi and the river Bharatapuzha are favourite locations of most Malayalam film directors.

New Zealand cheaper than Darjeeling?

According to cinematographer Ravi K Chandran, shooting in foreign locales is cheaper than shooting in idyllic locations in India. After returning from a shooting schedule in New Zealand (for Shankar's Tamil film, Boys), he believes a schedule in Kullu, Manali, Munnar or Darjeeling is more expensive than shooting in New Zealand or South Africa.

The crew for an Indian outdoor location shoot includes, apart from the main artistes and technicians, their many assistants and helpers. Besides, most of the cast and crew are given separate vehicles.

On the other hand, only a limited unit goes to a foreign location and they finish shooting within the prescribed time. While abroad, all the members of the crew, including the stars, travel in the same bus.

No wonder filmmakers prefer shooting abroad.

Australia beckons MadhavanMadhavan

Director Mouli has decided to shoot Nala Damayanthi in Australia.

In the film, written by and starring Kamal Haasan, a Brahmin cook from Palghat (played by Madhavan) goes to Australia for a job. The young actor is now in Australia trying out new recipes every day!

Gautam's fetish for Sri Lanka

Director Gautam Menon (Minnalae) shot the initial sequences of his new film Kaakka Kaakka, starring Surya and Jyothika, in Sri Lanka.

The story is not based in Sri Lanka nor does Menon love the island. Neither did he intend saving money.

Menon had initially planned to shoot inside a wooden house built on a lake in Pondicherry. But he met with resistance from the state's authorities. He then remembered Colombo, where he had earlier shot for an advertisement and asked his art director to coordinate with the local art director there.

Menon and his crew shot in Sri Lanka for 10 days. The rest of the film was shot in Chennai, as the story is based there.

Rajakumar hospitalisedRajakumar

Kannada superstar Rajakumar is now convalescing at a hospital in Chennai after hip replacement surgery.

The long walks in the Tamil Nadu forests, where he was held hostage by brigand Veerappan, reportedly aggravated his arthritic condition, causing severe pain. The operation, which took place on March 13, was successful. Reports say he will be able to walk soon.

With him are his wife Parvathamma, son Raghavendra Rajakumar and personal physician B Ramana Rao.

Rajakumar is soon expected to face the camera again.

Shobha Warrier