Are you a fan of the supernatural? What about the investigative genre ?

If you are, prepare yourselves to be blown away by Astro's latest thriller series "Kalvanai Kandupidi", which combines these two genres, from July 1, 2020.

The 26-episode series, directed by Karthik Shamalan, and featuring an ensemble cast including Lingkesvaran Maniam, Pashini Sivakumar, Magen Vidakavi, KS Maniam, and Ganteeban @ Ben G, will be shown at 9pm from Mondays to Fridays, on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH 231).

The series is also available on Astro GO and on demand.

It tells the story of Vishankavel (Vishan) Rajamoorthy (played by Lingkesvaran), who loses interest in life after the murder of his beloved girlfriend, over which he feels guilty about.

Vishan then resorts to supernatural means to communicate with her soul one more time, and in the process, gets entangled in a realm where another soul ends up coming after him.

Speaking at a media briefing on the series at Astro headquarters today, Kuppusamy Sandragas, Assistant Vice-President of the Indian Channel Business (Vinmeen) and Digital, Astro, said the supernatural genre was chosen as it was a crowd favourite.

"People generally enjoy watching supernatural-themed shows. It is similar to other-themed shows in Vinmeen HD, such as Kuttram Kutrame, which deals with crime, and Nakkeeran, which deals with current hop topics.

"In fact, there are plans to introduce a new series on the channel, every month, starting July."

Passion Project Comes To Fruition

Director Karthik Shamalan said Kalvanai Kandupidi was his long-time passion project and thanked Astro for providing the platform to showcase the first local Tamil supernatural series.

"This series is my long-time dream. I have always wanted to make this as a series, and had turned down offers to make it into a film.

"I had even prepared a teaser for the project seven years ago, and now the project has been realised," he said.

Asked if there was any reason for turning the project into a series, instead of a movie, Karthik said it was due to the character arc.

"In this series, every character will have his or her own background story, and twist in the story line.

"I felt that I needed time to tell their stories. That's how Kalvanai Kandupidi became a series, and not a movie, where we can't squeeze all that into two hours," he said.

According to Lingkesvaran, he agreed to do the project without much hesitation when contacted by Karthik, with whom he has worked in the Nakkeeran documentary series.

"I immediately said yes because I'm familiar with Karthik's style of work," he said.

The role, however, did not come easy. Lingkesvaran had to grow a scraggly beard and lose a few kilos (he ended losing 11kg), to portray a mourning man driven to desperation for answers.

He even had to be in character at the shooting location, which was almost completely opposite of his jovial, friendly character in real life, he quipped.

Also present at the press briefing session were Pashini, who plays the female lead, veteran actor KS Maniam who plays an important role, and the series' producer Elena Thomas.

According to the cast members, Karthik made a good job keeping certain parts of the series a secret from the cast, to the extent that all the casts are still in the dark about the series' climax.

Although the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak dragged the project's release date a few months beyond its intended date, the cast and crew are now eagerly awaiting the broadcast on Vinmeen HD on July 1.

The series also features a lot of visual effects work, which was outsourced to other countries, including Myanmar, and India.