Southern Cinema Roundup: Om Namo Venkatesaya, Kamal Haasan, Uma and Devan Namaste

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Kamal Haasan

Blessed to be part of ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’: Nagarjuna

Chennai–Actor Akkineni Nagarjuna on Wednesday said he is blessed to be part of Raghavendra Rao-directed Telugu devotional drama “Om Namo Venkatesaya”, which releases in cinemas on Friday.

“‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’ will weave magic in your hearts. I am blessed to be part of it. Thank you Raghavendra Rao, Keeravani and Mahesh Reddy,” Nagarjuna wrote on his Twitter page.

In the film, he plays Baba Hathiram, an 18th century ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara.

It’s the fourth time — after “Annamayya”, “Sri Ramadasu” and “Shirdi Sai” — that Raghavendra Rao has teamed up with Nagarjuna for a devotional film.

The film introduces Saurabh Raaj Jain to Telugu filmdom. He plays Lord Venkateswara in the film.

Also starring Anushka Shetty, Pragya Jaiswal, Jagapathi Babu and Vimala Raman, the film has music by M.M. Keeravani.

Let’s become incorruptible: Kamal Haasan

Chennai–Reacting to the current political turmoil in Tamil Nadu, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said there’s no use blaming corrupt politicians.

He suggested that people should become incorruptible.

“We’ve wasted our freedom years gambling our franchise on wrong and corrupt politicians. Let’s stop blaming them. Let’s become incorruptible,” Haasan tweeted.

Kamal Haasan

He also said that the entire country will fight for Tamil Nadu in a “civil war of ahimsa”.

“None might die but the ignorant will come alive,” he added.

Calling out his fellow actors to react on the stand-off between AIADMK leaders O. Panneerselvam and Sasikala, he tagged actor R. Madhavan in a tweet.

“Madhavan, please talk on crisis in Tamil Nadu. We have a voice with decibel levels not conducive to bad politics. You can also disagree but do it loud please,” he wrote.

In reply to Haasan’s tweet, Madhavan shared a series of posts.

He said: “Sir, we have always discussed how TN should be the best state in the world, leave alone India. With the talent and potential we have, we should have been an example to the world.”

Madhavan highlighted that the state needs “right leadership and right intent to harness that volcanic expertise”.

“This is the time we nudge in the right direction. The whole state needs to believe that and make themselves heard. And I am very sure that will happen as this the right time. Speak up folks. This is your time to be heard.”

Haasan also clarified that his account hasn’t been hacked.

“Just because I’m not saying expected things doesn’t mean I’m bought or hacked. Agree to disagree. I like you, I am my own man,” he tweeted.

Toonz and US-based production firm team up for new series

Thiruvananthapuram–Technopark headquartered “Toonz Media Group” has partnered with New York based Sharmaji Productions LLC to produce a full season of “Uma and Devan Namaste!” — an animated children’s series.

In a release issued here, Toonz on Wednesday said that this new series targets pre-schoolers, as it explores the daily lives of Indian-American siblings, Uma (age 5) and Devan (almost age 4), as they balance growing up in the US while staying true to their Indian heritage.

Each episode highlights important lessons that are universal to any culture, while incorporating aspects of Indian culture to help the children better understand themselves and the world around them.

Jayakumar, CEO of Toonz Media Group, said for Toonz, it is of utmost importance to find creative and philosophical synergies with our partners, and we found it in Sharmaji Productions.

” ‘Uma and Devan Namaste!’ is an amazing series which will connect well with kids across the world. We have great hopes for the show and this wonderful collaboration,” said Jayakumar.

Sharmaji Productions is a New York-based company that produces content that celebrates family life and values, with a sense of humour.

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