Travelling into the unknown

Behind the scenes

Travelling into the unknown

Rama Rama Re’, a film without a producer, hit the screens last week with little fuss. But it soon had celebrities from the Kannada film industry endorsing it.

The plot follows a convict on death row who has escaped from prison. His journey and that of others he meets along the way makes for a realistic yet satirical narrative.

Director D Satya Prakash, who has to his credit the short film ‘Jayanagara 4th Block’, talks to Chetana Divya Vasudev about its making .

Tell us about yourself.

Back in my school days, my friends and I often wrote and presented 20-minute skits. I also acted in dramas my grandfather directed. Much later, I worked for nearly a decade with T S Nagabharana. I worked on ‘Nam Yejamanaru’ as assistant director and several other scripts that never got made into films.

What about your own films?

I made ‘Jayanagara 4th Block’ in 2013. A year before that, I came across this episode in the ‘Bhagavat Gita’ between Dronacharya and his friend. And I immediately wanted to make a film about death. I spent a couple of years on the screenplay of ‘Rama Rama Re’.

Most of your cast has a theatre background...

It’s very difficult to make a film without a producer, especially because our location was near Belagavi, at least 8 km removed from basic facilities. So I decided to cast newcomers, and those from a theatre background have some acting experience. I also used to follow theatre closely, so I was familiar with most of their work.

You’ve introduced humour, despite the serious theme...

With no celebrity in the cast, I was worried that the film wouldn’t click. Treating the serious theme with a certain lightness seemed the way to go.

An interesting titbit...

Nataraj and Dharmanna (who play the protagonist Sandal Raja and Dharma, one half of an eloping couple) are childhood friends of mine and were with me when I realised I wouldn’t be able to get a producer. So we decided we would see if either of them could pull off the protagonist’s role. The character has long hair and beard. So for a full year, before we finalised on Nata (Nataraj), both artistes sported long beards.

Your influences.

I hardly watch any films; I read a lot — everything from newspaper to novels. I love novels by Beechi and Poornachandra Tejaswi for their satire and humour; I enjoy G S Shivarudrappa’s poetry and Vasudhendra’s short stories.

Sudeep has joined the list of celebrities praising the film...

Dhananjaya, Rakshit Shetty, Sruthi Hariharan and Ganesh are also among them. It’s very heartening.

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