‘Nobody took me for granted for being a female director’

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A firebrand lady always focused and passionate about the films she makes, Sudha Kongara is back with a big bang following the tremendous success of Akashame Nee Haddhu Ra, the Telugu version of the hit Tamil movie Soorarai Pottru. The film starring actor Suriya has become one of the most-talked about films on an OTT platform.

“I love to make movies which are real. I think real stories inspire people and it takes lots and lots of homework to make a movie,” says Sudha Kongara whose last film was Guru where she met some 250 boxers and used that research to make the film as realistically as possible.

Soorarai Pottru is based on the life of intrepid entrepreneur, Captain GR Gopinath who founded the low cost airline Air Deccan. “I didn’t have much idea about Air Force before I made this movie. But you ask me anything about it now, I will be ready to answer. The best part about the movie is when Captain GR Gopinath complimented me,” says the director.

'Nobody took me for granted for being a female director'
Sudha Kongara

Directing was never a focus area for Sudha who had actually wanted to become a cinematographer. “I was born here, but moved to Tamil Nadu as a young child and learnt to speak Tamil watching movies and videos on YouTube,” adds Sudha.

Her passion for her craft is unchanged to this day. She believes scripts are the main hero of a film. “Nobody has rejected my scripts till now. When I explained the script to Madhavan and Suriya, both fell in love with the script and said yes. Nobody in the sets took me for granted for being a female director,” shares Sudha who prefers writing scripts at home, and only get to writing after midnight around 3 am and works till 10 in the morning.

“I’m more of a family person who loves to spend time with family and some friends. When I don’t have shoots, you will only see me at these places,” says Sudha with a big smile.

Kongara has been in love with romantic stories for the longest time. Having worked as an assistant director for the master of romance director Mani Ratnam, for six years, she has imbibed his style of handling romance scenes. “I have learnt a lot from Mani Ratnam which made it easier when I turned to directing myself,” says Sudha Kongara. She is one of the few female directors in Tamil cinema to work with male superstars.

Quizzed her about women getting more weightage in her movie, she quips, “It’s purely about the script and I make sure everybody have their own identity. In all the stories I write, I see them working hard and being independent. It’s not about man and woman, it’s about passion and zeal to never give up,” signs off Sudha Kongara.


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