Rakshit Shetty talks about ‘Avane Srimannarayana’ and the eco-system that enables his work – The Hindu

In the nine years he has been in the Kannada film industry, Rakshit Shetty has been called an innovator, game-changer and part of the Kannada new wave, among other things. All these sit lightly on the Udupi-born actor, who has powered ahead, doing the films he likes, creating content that is deeply rooted, and not letting talk about the gap between films get to him.

For three years now, Rakshit has been dreaming only about Avane Srimannarayana (ASN), the mega-budget film he has co-written, which is produced by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah and HK Prakash. The film is directed by Sachin Ravi and stars Shanvi Srivastava in the lead. I do not worry too much about the gap that everyone is talking about. I dont allow the tags associated with me to influence or pressurise me either. I only do films that I love, and it so happens that they are different, he says.

Rakshit gives credit to his growing-up years in Udupi for shaping him into what he is. Most films I write are based on what I have seen growing up, and I could write Ulidavaru Kandanthe because of that familiarity. Likewise, Kirik Party drew a lot from my engineering days. This connection to my roots has helped me tremendously as a writer. I believe writing is where it all begins; you can not make a film look different, you have to write it differently. And there is a little bit of the real me in every character I write, be it Richie (Ulidavaru...), Karna (Kirik Party) or Narayana (ASN).

The actor is among a handful of multi-taskers, who also writes, directs and produces films. If I had to rate them in order of preference, it would be writer, director, actor and then producer, he smiles. Rakshit took on that last role, because he believes it is his way of giving back to the industry and to keep the circle of kindness going by helping an emerging talent.

ASN has been trending on social media with its innovative promotional campaigns, featuring puzzles and number games. The first teaser released 18 months ago, the second six months ago, and recently the trailer. And, there was a connecting link that audiences were asked to guess. As an artiste, I like things to be interactive and like the audience to get involved in cracking the code, as it were. I like to show them my art, but hide a few golden eggs, laughs Rakshit, who cant not finish a puzzle, especially if it has to do with math and science. He also loves gaming, as is evident in the contests. When I get a day or two off, or when my nephew and niece visit me, I settle down with my PS4. My favourites are Assassins Creed and Far Cry.

In promotional interviews, Rakshit speaks little about the plot of ASN. I believe your content is the biggest publicity. If it is strong, you do not have to spend money to promote it. This is what I followed with Ulidavaru... and Kirik Party. I, however, work to ensure the audience emotionally connects with the film before release.

Ask Rakshit how he keeps his energy levels up when a project is spread over time ASN releases three years after Kirik Party and he says that it does not require effort, only a high degree of attachment. My stint in the industry is a dream. I have been given the privilege of living this dream and love it. After ASN, I will probably think of something bigger. When you are involved, you forget the concept of space and time and live in the now. I dont allow any other thoughts to enter my head the number game or who is doing what. This is not a competition and I like to have fun and be happy even as I work.

Helping Rakshit run his own marathon is his immediate creative eco-system, which is made up of like-minded people. I am clear that even if it is a friend, only those who are in sync with the film will work on it. It is difficult to give it your all, if you dont believe in what is being made. This is why I began Paramvah Studios too, because I thought it was unfair to ask producers to back a film they did not believe in. I wanted a Plan B so that, irrespective of what happens, the film will get made. I am comfortable working with Pushkara, because he is as passionate about his projects. Rishab Shetty is part of my team, then there is Hemanth Rao, whom I completely trust. Kiranraj (who directed Sagara Sangama in the anthology Katha Sangama) is directing Charlie 777; we have worked together for long, and when he narrates something, I know how he will direct it.

On sets with younger directors, Rakshit does not see himself as a mentor, but as a team player. For me, all this is part of a never-ending education. I read a lot and love to share what I read. I never went to a film school or worked under a director. I learnt filmmaking reading books and making short films. When I share what I learn, it is reinforced and results in a lot of discussion. We all learn, and that is paramount, says Rakshit, who is now writing his dream project Punyakoti, and awaiting the scripting of Richie.

All about dialects

Rakshit is part of the small group of filmmakers who are drawing attention to the lyrical, sing-song Kannada of Dakshina Kannada region. In my initial days in Bengaluru, I realised that everyone loved my Kannada, though I spoke the same content as them. I also believe that tinge of humour we have in Mangaluru Kannada can not be found elsewhere. I know this language, and use it on screen when I can. But, it is important to know a culture before one presents it. North Karnatakas Kannada is very different, and only someone from there can do justice to it in a film. Films are a documentation too, and I believe every dialect has to be explored in some way in cinema.

Here is the original post:

Rakshit Shetty talks about 'Avane Srimannarayana' and the eco-system that enables his work - The Hindu

Related Post

Comments are closed.