Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth join hands to unveil their mentor K Balachander’s statue

Celebrations are well underway for ‘Kamal 60’ marking six decades of the actor’s contribution to cinema, and Friday morning saw Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, and many others gather to pay respect to the actors’ first and most important mentor: K Balachander.

A bust of the legendary director was unveiled at the new RKFI (Raaj Kamal Films International) office in Alwarpet, which is located just next to Kamal Haasan’s Eldams Road building which now operates as the party headquarters for his Makkal Needhi Maiam.

Kamal and Rajinikanth wave to fans from the balcony

Apart from Kamal and Rajinikanth, several other prominent film personalities such as Mani Ratnam, lyricist Vairamuthu, actor Nasser, KS Ravikumar, Santhana Bharathi, families of K. Balachander and Kamal Haasan were also present at the event.

The statue of the director is 60kg in weight and 23 inches in height, and was unveiled by all the film celebrities along with K Balachander’s daughter Pushpa and family.

Speaking on the occasion, Kamal said that he and Rajinikanth were fans of each other’s work, along with a tribute to K. Balachander for mentoring them.

Rajinikanth responded, “K. Balachander told me to learn Tamil and said: You see where I am going to take you. He knew what Tamil people would like. But his favourite child was always Kamal! Ananthu sir (KB’s writer) and Kamal would keep talking for hours. He was the one who moulded him.”

A special portrait of Ananthu (K Balachander’s writer) was also inaugurated

He added a few more words about Kamal, “Aboorva Sagodharagal is my favourite film produced by Raj Kamal Films International. I woke him up in the middle of the night to congratulate him. Similarly, Thevar Magan is such a classic. The message of that film is superb.”

Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in a scene from ‘Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu’

‘Yenna Nee En Nanban’…what the Kamal Haasan-Rajinikanth friendship tells us about Tamil cinema


The Petta star also listed one of his friend and contemporary’s films among his all-time favourites: “Godfather, Thiruvilaiyadal and Hey Ram are my three go to movies when I don’t have anything else to watch. I have seen Hey Ram almost 30 times.”

Kamal concluded, saying, “We are making our dreams of those days come true today. The journey of Raj Kamal Films International will continue. The bust of K Balanchander is there to monitor my work. We will soon announce our 50th film. I need not act in it but it will be a mega film.”

The two actors strike a pose for the cameras

After the event, Kamal and his team have also organised a screening of Hey Ram at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai, which will be followed by an interactive Q and A session.

Earlier on Thursday, Kamal Haasan had celebrated his 65th birthday with a tribute to to his father D. Seenivasan by unveiling his statue at Thelichathanallur, near Paramakudi.

Film personalities present at the event

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