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The harvest festival of Tamil Nadu is the best time for new film releases.

This year is no different. With Shankar’s I leading the way on January 14, following suit are Vishal’s Ambala, and music composer, G. V. Prakash’s Darling, releasing on January 15. Film lovers are spoilt for choice with I being touted as a romantic thriller, while Ambala will showcase director Sundar’s flair for comedy. Darling, fits into the horror genre (in India, at least; UAE viewers will have to be happy with I, which had a Wednesday release).

Produced by Vishal under his banner Vishal Film Factory and directed by Sundar C, Ambala boasts an ensemble cast that includes Santhanam, Prabhu, Ramya Krishnan, Aishwarya, Vaibhav, Sriram and Satish of Ethir Neechal fame. Hiphop Tamizha, a musical duo consisting of musicians Adhi and Jeeva, makes its debut with Amabala. Vishal is paired opposite Hansika Motwani.

Darling introduces G.V. Prakash as an actor. Produced by K.E. Gnanavel Raja and directed by debutant Sam Anton, this is a remake of Telugu blockbuster Prema Katha Chithram. Nikki Galrani makes her debut in Tamil cinema, and Srushti Dange is paired opposite G.V. Prakash.

“The Telugu version was a big hit and to deliver a similar hit posed a challenge,” said Anton, formerly an engineer. I have modified the story to suit the Tamil audience, especially the opening scene, the interval block and the climax.”

Anton has borrowed the basic story line — a young man jilted in love who attempts suicide.

“What happens at that moment and how his life changes subsequently forms the rest of the story,” added Anton, who worked with Kalaignar TV and Captain TV before venturing into films.

Meanwhile, there is a lull this week in the Malayalam industry. Tamil director Shankar’s I has affected the release of Malayalam films this week with no releases this Friday.

Coming up is Mammootty’s Fireman directed by Deepu Karunakaran, scheduled for next week along with Mohan Lal’s Rasam, directed by National award winner, Rajeev Nath.

Waiting in the pipeline for release are Rajesh Pillai’s Mili, with Amala Paul in the title role and Major Ravi’s Picket 43 featuring Prithviraj and Saeed Jaffrey.