Following is the small interview that director Ameer had with our associate manager (promotions) Kavitha. Actually we gave him a courtesy call but as we kept speaking the director shared his experiences he had this year. We were moved by all the hardship he underwent in the last few weeks.
Director Ameer says this year had been a rollercoaster ride for him – it had ups and downs and was thrilling all the way. He is extremely happy with the response that the audience gave to his Paruthiveeran and wants to thank them all. He also said how happy he is for having acted as a hero for the first time in Yogi. He felt very happy to have worked in Subramaniyam Shivan’s direction and had sweet memories of acting in Yogi and recording its songs in France.
He said he is extremely happy with the way things are going, especially with all the recognition he got for Paruthiveeran. It was lauded at many international film festivals and garnered awards at the Berlin Film Festival. But all this changed suddenly after he spoke his mind out at the directors’ protest held at Rameshwaram against the Sri Lankan civil war. Government held him responsible for sedition and arrested him (with director Seeman), while all he wanted was to simply lend his support to his brethren in Sri Lanka, which is a simple example of humanity!
“Since then, life has changed a lot for me,” says the talented director, who is just three films old in the industry. He was granted bail after being jailed for a few days. Forced to surrender his passport and sign in the Magistrate’s court Madurai every day, his life was a complete turmoil. “Because I was required to sign in the court every day, I was unable to concentrate on my work. It was troublesome. And I was always surrounded by well wishers and friends,” says Ameer. “I felt like a politician, which I am not. I am not at all interested in politics. I just want to show my care to my fellow human beings, which is a humane act every human is capable of – not just politicians. This phase of my life was like a blackout. It was there yet not there. It was literally hell for me and my wife, full of confusion,” says the director
“Everyone made me a hero, a politician. Every day I had visitors who would bring garlands and shawls. I have about one room full of shawls now. All of them kept goading me to enter politics! Some said your career has taken off just now. Concentrate on it. Some say, social life needs you. This is the right time to enter politics! I really don’t know. I am confused,” remarks the director.
Though he is confident that he has done something for Tamils, he is completely shaken by his experience in the past few weeks. Ameer is a very empathetic human being, which is easily understandable as he almost chokes when he speaks about his inmates in Madurai prison. He is a firm believer in the Almighty and believes that his imprisonment was orchestrated by Him. Many prisoners, especially those serving life imprisonment, shared their experiences and feelings with him and felt an astounding relief of having shared a piece of their life with an eminent director. They felt their life got enriched.
Ameer is confident that the Almighty wanted this to happen so that he can put a smile on the faces of a few despondent people. He is happy he could give some valuable moments to these prisoners to cherish. Now, he says all this has changed him forever – he always had an urge to do something for the betterment of others and after this experience that urge has only increased.
Ameer is confident that he will collect himself soon as he needs to concentrate on Yogi, which is shaping up pretty well. About 15 days’ worth of filming is left. Ameer is highly appreciative of Subramaniyam Shivan and his support.
Once this is done, Ameer is confident that he will decide his next move. He wants to get actively involved in many welfare activities but not in politics and he has no idea of giving up films, which he loves so much. He is quite confident that soon he will find a way to help people.