Freshman director Soundarya R. Ashwin, daughter of Indian film star and pop culture icon Rajinikanth, will have the distinction of launching the country’s first-ever entirely motion-capture animated feature film next month as the action-packed epic Kochadaiiyaan hits Indian theaters May 9. Rajinikanth himself will voice three of the leading roles in the period film based on the exploits of the 8th century warrior emperor.
Ashwin had previously been developing another 3D animated film starring her father, Sultan, which was shelved due to funding issues. Kochadaiiyaan, a production of Eros International and Media One Global Entertainment, was reportedly budgeted at roughly $21 million U.S.
“Animation is a word, a process. In India, people think animation is cartoons. Avatar was animation, but it is not a cartoon,” the aspiring filmmaker told The Times of India in an interview last fall. “Avatar took seven years and so much budget and a James Cameron. There was always the insecurity of the unknown, but we have taken a road never taken in India and broken rules and have completed the film in just a year and a half.”