Tamil director Jayabharati explored the idea of making films with unconventional themes in the 1970s. The director made his first film, Kudisai, with crowdfunding. Kudisai was released on March 30, 1979 and has been preserved in the National Film Archives of India. The film ended 43 years after its release.
According to Jayabharati, Kudisai was also the first Tamil film to be shot through crowdfunding. Before embarking on his film career, Jayabharati worked as an assistant director. He also wrote 75 stories.
Apart from his love for literature, Jayabharati also admired good cinema. He rented the Krishnaveni Theater in Chennai and used to see films made by Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. Watching these films, Jayabharati’s love for cinema grew to such an extent that he announced the shooting of his first film within ten days.
Jayabharati’s friends were shocked. They weren’t tense about the script of the film knowing Jayabharati’s writing skills. They just didn’t know how he would handle the funds for the film.
However, Jayabharati was least concerned about funds. The director told his friends that he would manage the funds by collecting Rs 500 each from 10 people.
Rajasekhar, one of Jayabharati’s closest friends, helped him arrange a camera loan. A farmer from Padi Kuppam provided him with food during filming. To cover the extra costs, Jayabharati raised money by organizing art exhibitions in the colleges.
Ceylon Manohar, a singer and another friend of Jayabharati, helped him raise funds through his shows. Newcomers like Kamala Kamesh had a chance. Besides Kamla, Dandayupani and Raji were also seen in the film. Kamala’s husband, G. Kamesh, composed the music for this film. The film was financed by Juvaala.
The film was well received by audiences and critics alike. It was also screened in all South Indian film festivals at that time. Jayabharati’s love for the art of cinema inspired him to endure such hardships to make good films.
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