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Exclusive! When I was stuck for a title for my debut directorial, Rocking Star Yash suggested Shokiwala: Jocky

The film, starring Krishna Ajai Rao and Sanjana Anand in the lead, is set for release on April 29

  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 01.49 PM, Apr 26, 2022

Exclusive! When I was stuck for a title for my debut directorial, Rocking Star Yash suggested Shokiwala: Jocky
Jocky with leading man Ajai Rao during the making of the film

When Shokiwala releases in theatres on Friday (April 29), it will bring to fruition a dream of well over a decade for its debutant director Jocky. “I have been a film fanatic since my school days and began looking at ways to get into the industry since Class 10, but I realized that it was easier said than done. I kept at it though, going to film sets and the homes of filmmakers, until, sometime during my PUC days I got an opportunity to work on the crew, alternating between set design and light boy, etc. I have even worked on the set of Navagraha. It was sometime in 2009 that I got my first break to work as an associate director on Bhagyada Balegara, directed by Sai Prakash with Shivarajkumar and Navya Nair in the lead. Over the next 10 years, I worked on multiple Kannada films as associate or co-director, including Thamassu, Lucky, Adhyaksha, Victory Ranna and even KGF: Chapter 1,” explains Jocky.

It was around the time of the making of KGF1 that Jocky also began looking for a producer to get his directing career on track. “A friend of mine, Arun Kumar, had written a love story, which I found quite interesting. But, having worked on a film like Adhyaksha, I thought that the subject would work better if it was set against a rural backdrop and began reworking the screenplay accordingly. I pitched it to Crystal Paark Cinemas; the team liked it and that’s how my first film took off,” he says, adding that it didn’t have a title at the time.

The film has Krishna Ajai Rao in the lead, a choice that the debutant filmmaker says was deliberate because a hardcore commercial film set in a village would be new for the actor as well. “I wanted to present Ajai sir in a fresh avatar with this film, which will be novel for him and his fans too. In fact, when we began working on the film, I did not have a suitable title in mind. I have a fairly good rapport with Yash and told him about my dilemma. He suggested Shokiwala based on what I told him of the story,” adds Jocky.

The film, which went on floors in 2019 and was shot in locations across Magadi, Channapatna, Ramnagara, Mandya, Mysuru and Bengaluru, is a romantic comedy, from the perspective of a rural guy, who wants to fall in love and then get married. Strangely enough, no girl falls for him. How he goes about wooing the heroine (Sanjana Anand), the daughter of the village head, whom he meets at a wedding, forms the crux of the story. In fact, the heroine is the village sweetheart, with many others also pining for her attention. How the hero wards off this competition and wins her love is presented as an entertainer, with comedy,” explains the filmmaker.

Set to release this week, Shokiwala, says Jocky, will have four fights choreographed by Vikram Mor, while Sridhar V Sambhram fills in as music director. Also on the cast are actors like Tabla Nani, Giri Shivanna, Aruna Balraj and Pramod Shetty, among others. “My years in the industry have paid off in the sense that I had the opportunity to work with a great crew on my debut directorial. Now, it is up to the audience to decide if our hard work was worth the effort,” he signs off.