R.Nataraja Mudaliar made Keechaka Vatham, the first film to be produced in South India in the year, 1916. Unfortunately, barring a couple of interviews, one which was published in Mail Magazine in the 1930’s ( which I have not seen) and one in the early 1970’s in Chitralaya Magazine ( can be seen at the Roja Muthiah Research Library), not much primary material about Mudaliar is available, or known to have survived.
During my trip to the N.F.A.I, early this year, I chanced to find this article which Mudaliar has written in the late 1930’s. It should be noted here, that by this period, Mudaliar had long left the film industry (in the Silent Era period), and now the Talkies were in place.
This article was written at a time, when the Talkie industry was on the verge of collapse. Film Studios like ‘Andhra Cinetone’ had collapsed and the iconic M.P.P.C Studios (K.Subrahmanyam/later Gemini Studios) was on financially weak ground. Its demise would happen the following year.
While the article is not very informative per-se, and does not go into details ( possibly since Mudaliar was out-of-touch with the realities of film making, by this time), it holds a lot of historical value, given that it is written by someone who made the first Thamizh film.