Bollywood filmmaker Priyadarshan has won acclaim at the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival for his Tamil film Kanchivaram' which depicts the plight of famous silk-weavers of Kanchipuram in pre-independent India.
Priyadarshan, more known for churning out money-spinning comedies at breakneck speed, has made a complete break with his new film which is on an unstoppable roll here.
The film unfolds against the backdrop of the first rumblings of labour unionism in south India.
"I am really excited. I've never made a film like this before and the response is overwhelming," said Priyadarshan, who was in the town along with lead actor, Prakash Raj, to promote the film.
Kanchivaram is a neatly crafted, visually lush film that has none of the ingredients that define the nature of Priyadarshan's recent outputs.
The applause that the film is garnering here, he said, has enthused him to explore the possibility of attempting more offbeat films in the future.
"I can assure you that Kanchivaram isn't going to be the only film of its kind that I will make," he said.
After the world premiere here, Kanchivaram will be shown at the Pusan Film Festival in South Korea. Besides, inquiries from several other major international festivals Palm Springs, San Francisco and Stuttgart, among others have begun to pour in.
Priyadarshan admitted it wasn't easy for him to sell the idea of a film like Kanchivaram.
"I went around with this idea for eight years," said the director of hits like 'Garam Masala' and 'Hungama'.
"But whenever I approached a prospective producer, he would say let's make a commercial movie. I am lucky that Percept Picture Company believed in the concept and backed me to the hilt," he said.
Priyadarshan, who has written the original story as well as the script of the film, also revealed that he did extensive research before he got down to making Kanchivaram.
"I spent months interviewing weavers and people associated with the cooperative movement. I based my story and screenplay on my research," he added.
Kanchivaram is Priyadarshan's fifth Tamil-language film. "It had to be in Tamil for reasons of authenticity. It wouldn't have looked and sounded right in any other language," he asserts.