'My father is a huge influence'

Multifaceted director

'My father is a huge influence'

Ananya Kasaravalli began her career as an actor but swiftly moved onto become a director. She was keen on learning and understanding the art of filmmaking and honing her technical skills before getting behind the camera.

Ananya is thrilled by the response her venture, ‘Harikatha Prasanga’, drew at the ninth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes). After making her directorial debut with the feature film ‘Beladi Harishchandra’, she made two telefilms and two documentaries, including ‘Kappu Kallina Saitana’ and ‘Vasiyatnama’.
Like father Girish Kasaravalli, she too is inclined towards making films that are closer to reality. In an interview with Nina C George, Ananya talks about her
journey so far.

What inspired you to turn to directing?
I always wanted to get into direction but I was keen to first learn what goes on behind the camera and then venture into this field. It is important for one to be technically sound before getting down to making a film.  

What kind of subjects interest you?
I like to explore slightly offbeat subjects. Human relationships and the void that people sometimes experience seem like perfect subjects to me. Human psychology is what I like to delve into in all my films and you will see that I deal with very
sensitive subjects.   

Tell us about ‘Harikatha Prasanga’?
The story is adapted from a novel and I have explored some complicated human emotions in the film. The audience will be able to relate to the occurrences in this film because we’ve captured emotions that people see and experience around them almost all the time.

What do you wish to convey through the film?
 I was inspired by the story of Gopalakrishna Pai. The story is about a Yakshagana artiste. I spent a year researching on the subject to make the film authentic. I also happened to visit a Yakshagana centre in Udupi for the purpose. There are many new faces in the film and more than talking about the film, I would like people to understand what I am trying to convey.

On being a woman filmmaker...
This is the best time for women filmmakers because today women are on par with men in every sense. There is no dearth of ideas among the women in this field. They
also don’t shy away from exploring themes that they hold very dear to their hearts.

How has your father influenced you?
My father is a huge influence on me. I think I got my basic sensibilities of filmmaking from him. He is not someone who will impose his views or ideas on people but rather,
he encourages  people to chase their dreams.

Is the Kannada film industry going through a transition of sorts?
Yes, I think so. We have seen directors working on very offbeat subjects and actors too are slowly opening up to working on characters that they haven’t explored before. We have been seeing a lot of experimental cinema in the Kannada film industry and I think the trend  is here to stay.  

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