September 8th, 2015
Image Source: hindustantimes
Film festivals are full of glitter and glamour and attended by elites; one might naturally wonder what an ordinary auto-driver from India has got to do with one.
M Chandrakumar, an auto driver from Coimbatore, is soon going to be a part of the famed Venice Film Festival to attend the screening of a Tamil feature film based on a novel written by him. Popularly known as Auto Chandran, the 51-year-old man is a class 10 drop out. Chandran ran away from his house at a young age and traveled wherever life took him. He did odd jobs to sustain himself and to earn his daily bread and butter.
When he was young, he once faced immense brutality and abuse at the hands of the police in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district. According to Chandran, he and two of his friends were arrested and tortured by the police, and brutally beaten for 13 days without any reason.
These bad experiences influenced his first novel in which he wrote about the helplessness of the poor and how there is no protection for people like him.
Despite being a school dropout, Chandran kept his love for words alive and shared his experiences in an articulate manner in his book. His novel– ‘Lock Up’, was published in 2006. After that, one of his close friends, who was working in the film industry shared that with Vetrimaaran. The director was impressed by the unique story and quickly agreed to make a Tamil film – ‘Visaranai’, based on the novel. This movie will be premiered at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.
Vetrimaaran promised to give credit to Chandran and fulfilled it by not just giving him the credit, but also inviting him to the prestigious film festival. The on-going festival began on September 2 and is scheduled to take place till September 12. Chandran will fly to Venice from Chennai on September 8