The director is thrilled with the international début of his film,in which three stories intertwine
January 15 will stay etched in director Arunvignesh ADS’s heart forever. As that was the day his début film, Honeysuckle, was released online in the US and UK.
“Currently, we are working out the logistics to get the film released in India too,” says Arunvignesh as he speaks to MetroPlus over phone from Chennai.
About the title, Arunvignesh says, “Honeysuckle is a twining plant. There are two plants that intertwine and grow together, yet never meet, just like my film where three stories intertwine. It follows a Hungarian taxi driver fighting to save his family, a Hungarian teenager and a single mother searching for a role model, and young Indian Carnatic singer who decides to sacrifice the one thing that defines her. Even though the timelines, emotions and lives are intertwined, they don’t meet. Honeysuckle is not an anthology but the coming together of three lives, places, culture and stories.”
Arunvignesh has till date directed 15 documentaries and short films. Honeysuckle, which is shot in four languages (Hungarian, English, Arabic and Tamil), started off as a short film, Flora. “Unfortunately, after shooting for a few days, we overshot the budget and the film was stalled. The team was also dealing with certain personal disasters. The project was submitted to my college after some final editing. It ate into me that the project was incomplete. Savo, who had written Flora then created an alternative narrative. That’s how Honeysuckle came into being.”
He laughs saying, “Luckily, the film was completed a couple of days before the lockdown was announced.” Arunvignesh, who hails from Salem, says that he has always been passionate about cinema and that he dropped out of Engineering to become a full-time filmmaker. “When I looked around, I discovered that I was not the only dropout.”
The Bengaluru connect
Journalist, biographer and theatre artiste, Vasanti Sundaram, makes her debut with Honeysuckle.
“The film helped me understand how welcoming Bengaluru is for actors. You don’t really need a godfather or a network to find your way around,” feels the actor, who says that to land a role in the film, all she did was respond to their call for audition on their FB page.”
Vasanti, who made Bengaluru her home three years ago, says the film releasing digitally in the US and UK was a treat. “You don’t dare to dream of such an outing for your first film.”