Pedro becomes the first Kannada film to be selected for the Busan International Film Festival.
Offbeat filmmaker Natesh Hegde, who makes movies about people in rural areas and brings them to the urban audiences, has ushered pride for Kannada Cinema with his film Pedro. The film came into the spotlight for the first time when it made the cut for the NFDC Film Bazaar’s Work-in-Progress Lab in 2019. It gained global recognition shortly after. Continuing the streak, Pedro has been selected for the 26th edition of the prestigious Busan International Film Festival.
The film has become the first Kannada film to make it to the festival. It will make its global premiere in the New Currents section. Along with Pedro, Rajdeep Paul and Sarmishta Maiti’s Bengali film Kalkokkho have also made it to the festival this year.
The category New Currents Award recognises the promising cinematic talent in Asian cinema. Two best feature films from the first or second works of the filmmakers are selected at the festival. This year, well-known filmmaker Deepa Mehta, journalist Christina Nord of the Berlinale Forum, directors Jang Joon-hwan and Jang Joon-hwan have been selected to be the jury of the festival.
Pedro is Natesh Hegde’s debut feature, chronicling the narrative of a lonely, middle-aged electrician who lives in a forest village. The movie talks about how he sustains himself. Having grown up near the town of Sirsi in Karnataka, Natesh has imbued his perception and observations of people living in the region, which birthed the premise of the film.
The story came up from his and his father’s experiences. His father Gopal Hegde stars in the movie in the lead role. Naresh expressed his joy to the media on making the impressive feat. In a statement, he said that it is encouraging to see ‘a new face of Kannada Cinema’ getting its due on a global platform. “Along with the more mainstream, popular genre that has been doing so well all around, I think it is important that films and stories from every little part and culture of the state get highlighted,” he added.
Hegde, whose first short film Kurli was also lapped up by film festivals, not only directed but also wrote the script for Pedro. Gopal Hegde, Ramakrishna Bhat Dundi, Medini Kelmane, B Shetty and Nagaraj Hegde play the lead actors in the movie.
Rishab Shetty Films has produced the film while Vikas Urs has cranked the camera. Paresh Kamdar has co-edited the film with Natesh Hegde.