When one tries something off the system, for reasons unknown there is always somebody to do some damage. From the Anna Movement I understood a lot about the difficulties involved in correcting something, especially when it involves ‘people’. Yogaraj used to always say – “You could ignore Politics, but Politics will never ignore you.” I seem to be struck in that phase right now. Though I don’t mingle with the existing film industry or the people within, a lot of rumors are being circulated about my work. And I need not actually try to rectify it but you know the saying – “Repeat a lie a 1000 times and it becomes the truth”. Hence, here are some clarifications. I also find it important to do this because everything that I am working towards includes my audience as a major part of it, and I don’t mind losing anything but not the trust and the faith the audience have invested in me.

There is this misconception that I ‘HATE’ stars. I believe that to hate someone you have to love them in the first place. And I never was fanatic about any star, so I am quite indifferent towards any of them. I have deep respect for actors though. And I like good work, so when I see someone do good work I appreciate it and when the same person does something that doesn’t appeal to my tastes, I dont. But that doesn’t mean I hate them. So kindly don’t propagate that I hate someone. Hate is a strong word. And how does it matter to a star what I think of them, they are BIG people, and honestly I am nothing in front of the power they have. I am not being modest, I am just telling the fact which both you and I know. So for the records, I don’t HATE anyone, I just wish they took up the responsibility that comes with their power. And is it wrong to wish for it? A simple wish that they show interest in scripts, not mine, anyone who writes good stuff.

The thing about the Parallel Film Industry. Many have interpreted it as though I am trying to shut down the existing one and create a new one. I know I look stupid, but I didn’t know I looked THAT stupid. Is it even practical to do that? Is that even possible? How on earth can anyone shut down an industry?

There is something called as Parallel Cinema. It has been there for ages in Hindi and in all languages. I am not sure if we had it in Kannada. I know for sure that it doesn’t exist now. The mathematical definition for Parallel states that two lines have to CO-EXIST. So all I am trying to do is co-exist with the present system. And this isn’t new, every industry has someone doing this, Anurag and a bunch of other filmmakers are trying it in Hindi. I might be the one making too much noise in Kannada about this, so my name tends to show up more, there are many others who are working on the same lines all by themselves.

The industry that we have now caters to the theatre going audience. That is how it should be, because it has so many mouths to feed. The industry produces what the theatre going audience buy. Nothing wrong, absolutely. But what if there are a bunch of filmmakers and talents who don’t know how to make what the theatre going audience want! What if the audience they seek are the types who have stopped coming to the theatres. And I hope we are not in denial about that fact. There are different types of audience and there are different types of filmmakers. The current format of the industry is able to cater to only a certain kind of filmmakers and a certain kind of audience. That is normal. Filmmakers like me who dont know how to make such films must either retire and find something else to do, or find a way to get to the target audience. I am simply doing that. Is that wrong? Is trying to co-exist wrong? If I knew how to make a film that masses like, trust me I’d make it, I want the money too, I want to be rich as well. But I don’t know how to make those, and why is it so hard for some people to get that.

Take a look at the presentation that I used for British Council and Power of Ideas to know what exactly we are trying to build. Click Here

There are many of us in this category. We know how to make a certain kind of films and we have some audience for such films. And we are now finding a way to reach out to them. The current industry will put our films through the default system and deliver it to the wrong audience. There is no way they will like it and we will be branded as flop film makers. How can you force a lion to eat vegetables? The lion being the current audience and our films being the vegetables!

After lifeu Ishtene, I got few offers from rich producers to make hero’s out of their sons and daughters. I was going to get a good pay for that. I could have taken it up, made money and made some film that would launch the son/daughter as a hero/heroine. That was a more practical option, becoz like anyone else I have to pay bills too. But I didn’t take that up. And the reason is what follows.

Those of you who have followed my career will know that I started of as an actor. I used to only dream of acting in good films with good characters. Am actually so mad about it that my id has been ‘actorinme’ for the past 8 years. After about 8 years of Stage work, I got Suri’s Inthi NinnaPreethiya. And thankfully I got a good character to play. And I thought, it was my time, that I would get lots of work because people liked what I was able to do in Inthi Ninna Preethiya. But the reality was far from it. I got no work, very rarely someone would call and it would be terrible scripts directed by people who had no clue what filmmaking was. I stopped taking up such films. I then realized that unless someone writes good films there will be no good characters. So I got into learning how to write films. And when I wrote the films I figured that there is no way our industry would make films with people who look like me or act like me. Our films here don’t follow underplaying, that is why everyone in our films do loud acting. That is the difference between an international film and an Indian film. Here people like LOUD not SUBTLE. In fact if on a shooting set you underplay or do subtle acting, you will be talked about as a bad actor. I was quite limited, and of course I can’t Dance. I came in terms with the reality. Got into the exciting journey of writing and directing, but the plan all along was to write a film with a strong character that I’d love to play. And in Lifeu Ishtene, I did write the part of Shivu for myself. But when Satish auditioned for it, I felt he deserved it more and that he would do a better job. It was such a difficult decision to give up something that I had crafted so carefully so that I could play it. But I am glad I was able to give it up. I still am in the hope that someday there will be someone who will make films with good characters and I’d get work again! There you go, that is my selfish reason to do what ever I am doing!

But this journey is not the same for a son of a producer or an actor. They can so easily skip all this struggle/training and yet become stars. So after Lifeu Ishtene, if I had taken up the projects where I would be making stars out of Sons, I felt I was going to be cheating myself, I was cheating the ‘past’ me who lost out on many good works just because he didn’t have any background influences, my capabilities as an actor was not even considered, it was always where I came from. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they don’t happen often, once in a few years the audience welcome one or two new actors as protagonist. Just look around all the films that are produced and you will see that actors below 35 hardly have any good characters in our films. If you are above 35 and good, work comes to you in the form of Uncle and Father roles. By then the young actor would have gone through so much disappointment waiting, that he will simply start doing anything for good money. And you can’t blame him. Great actors are getting wasted in films which are all centered around a hero. Do you see any good character written for girls? That is why we don’t find any Kannada speaking actress, the few options that we have want to be the Heroine only!

That’s another tragedy altogether. A good film is full of characters, and every character is important, we need good actors to play those characters. But because we give such high importance and value to a Hero alone, every good actor wants to become a hero. When they start off they will be the passionate ones who simply want to act, but the system tells them that even if they do an oscar winning supporting role, it is of no use, Hero will take away all the glory and the money! (in Lifeu Ishtene, Sathish got paid less than 1/20th of what Digant got) If you were him, what would you want to do? These actors naturally start aspiring for Hero roles only. And that is the end of their career, they spend all their time waiting to be a hero and not taking up anything else. No money, No work. The industry is full of such people, both male and female. And we directors will be hunting for supporting characters and none of them will be willing to do that. So we get back to writing a hero centric movie. Its a loop! I have only acted in movies which I have written (except circus), I soon figured that I don’t want to be a hero. So I’d make sure I write something for myself and quench my thirst to act.

Does that mean all non influential actors have to write their own films? Its not possible. I am thankful to god or whoever for giving me the gift to multitask, but not everyone has that. That is the reason behind doing all this, I want to create the platform which I didn’t have. The deserving talent should get the work they deserve. Otherwise all of them are so lost, the prime of their youth is spent waiting for an opportunity, without any direction to follow. I remember spending months together at home, not knowing what to do, where to go, who to contact. In other industries, there is a set path, if you want to be an engineer, you know what you have to do, and if you are good at your work – opportunities are given to you. That is why any other industry is progressive, because it is about how well you can deliver. In Film Industry it is never about your skill, it is – Who you are! A film could flop miserably but they will be on their way doing the next project. But that is not the case for someone who is not connected! So lets change that and lets become progressive.

To all those who are busy circulating rumors about me, my intentions are as simple as these –

1. Create a filmmaking system which will give opportunities to talented ones irrespective of whose sons/daughters they are or how much money they have.

2. Encourage films that can have protagonists play any kind of characters and not just be HERO’s who will be dancing, fighting and be super macho.

3. To write scripts which will give equal importance to female characters, in most of our films heroine is either dancing or praising the hero.

4. To reach out to an audience who like this kind of stuff. We will not even compete in the current system, it is not in us to entertain those audience.

5. To make filmmaking career more honest and fair. In the current system, the payments are terrible, there are such inhuman stories regarding payment and respect.

6. To encourage writers n directors. A good writer and a director can create jobs for 100’s of other people (actors, music, cinematography etc etc)

7. To develop original stories of our land. There is so much happening around us and we are not even writing about it.

8. To find the audience whom we have lost. When we do a film with the above intentions, we can’t sell it to the current audience, they don’t like such stuff. And we need the audience who watch our kind of films in other languages.

I am thankful to Digant for not having enough dates to do Lucia. I am thankful to Sudeep for not having the time to listen to my script, I am thankful to many other stars who didn’t pick my call. Because if these guys hadn’t done that, I would not have got this idea. I would not have got the recognition from British Council, I would not have earned the trust of so many audience. I would have simply been another director banking on a hero for a success, I am glad I am not in that place. I am not scared of failing with Lucia, at least I will know “I” failed. When you make a movie with a star, if the movie is a hit, it is becoz of the star, and if it flops then it is becoz of the director. Kinda unfair, rite? If Lucia fails to make a good impression, then it is only me that you have to beat up. I kinda enjoy that responsibility 🙂

I am extremely happy that I am finally setting this up. All I want to have is a nice creative space where artists can collaborate and do good work, and we will find a way to sell that good work, I know its difficult but not impossible. I can’t do any of this alone though. I need the audience, the people, to have faith in me and my intentions. Simply support us when we need it. And if you know of any rumor mongers who are working pretty hard to ruin my work, kindly pass this on to them and tell them I am an innocent child! 😉

If you’d like to work with me, then fill this form up and I will contact you. Pass the form along, I really need to build an army! (Link to share the Form – Click here)

And have you signed and shared this yet ? Its not an AD 🙂