The film, directed by theatre artiste NB JayaPrakash and Nadahalli Sripada Rao, will have a paid premiere, the proceeds of which will go towards a social cause.
Theatre artiste and social activist NB JayaPrakash’s, who was part of the production team of the National Award-winning Kannada film Hoomale earlier, is making his directorial debut. Called Anthyavalla Aarambha, the film has the late Sanchari Vijay and Sruthi Hariharan in the lead, in what is a second collaboration for the Nathicharami co-stars. The film, says JP, as the actor-director is called, is a simple romance with elements of suspense. “The film is about marital issues and has come out very well. It is based on an international issue and has good message that if you believe in yourself, you can overcome any obstacle. This is not an arthouse project and has been made as a commercial film. There are four songs, composed by newcomer Suhas, one of which has been sung by Vijay Prakash. I play a pivotal role in the film, beside the lead pair,” says JP.
The film has been co-directed by Nadahalli Sripada Rao, the founder of a Bengaluru-based NGO Parihaar Foundation, which works for the welfare of widowed and divorced women. “The film will be available on NammaFlix in January 2022, but the plan is to have a paid premiere show for Kannadigas and supporters of our cause across India. We have been in touch with various Kannada organisations in different parts of the country to get the required numbers in place for a premiere. Now that travel relaxations have come in, I am looking at meeting them and finalizing this. The proceeds of the premiere will be used for the causes supported by Parihaar, as well as to fund upcoming film projects under the aegis of the foundation,” adds JP.
The idea to make a film, says JP, came about when he was teaching acting at director Nagathihalli Chandrashekar’s institute, and a student suggested it. “The student, Shishir, who has also acted in the film, has invested in the film, while the rest of the money was put together through crowd funding. Initially, though, the plan was to make a small-budget film. We picked a good story by the late Kannada producer Jairam, which we developed for the screen. But by then, I thought it needed a bigger canvas and got award-winning actors Sanchari Vijay and Sruthi on board. Both not only readily agreed to be part of the film, but have also done outstanding performances. We were, in fact, ready to release the films in theatres in early 2020, but then the pandemic broke out. By the time we began planning a 2021 release, Vijay passed away in a tragic accident. Honestly, I am not sure whether audiences will return to theatres, so, I thought it best to take the film to OTT,” he explains, adding that the film will have English subtitles. The premier show charges will be nominal, receipts of which can be used for tax exemption, since the proceeds are going towards an NGO, says JP.
The foundation’s first production, Hoomale, was written by Ramesh Aravind and directed by Nagathihalli Chandrashekar, with music by Ilaiyaraaja. The title song was sung by the late Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar. While the film won the National award for Best Kannada film, Ramesh was adjudged Best Actor for it at the State Film Awards.