Kannada film stands tall in Cannes

The directorial debut of choreographer Bargav Yogambar also starred Peter Grabinski
Last Updated 25 June 2019, 12:49 IST

One of the few Kannada movies to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival this May, the suspense thriller ‘David’ has done quite well. The film, directed by Bargav Yogambar with an all-star cast including Shreyas Chinga, was screened in the India Pavilion at the film festival. The international rights of the movie sold for about $2 million (Rs 13.85 crores).

The director-actor pair spoke to Metrolife about filming David, going all the way to Cannes and much more.

Actor Shreyas Chinga

What is the role of Gautham in David?

Gautham’s character is initially quite boring. But when he loses the woman he loves, he undergoes many changes as the film progresses. His character, therefore, has two shades.

What was your experience like at the Cannes Film Festival?

It was amazing, beyond my imagination. We were among an ocean of filmmakers. For the first couple of days, we visited the pavilions of different countries, getting to know about their films. Everything was taken care of by the central government. Later, we went all out promoting our film. Our focus was only on David then.

From theatre to cinema, what differences did you find in acting, directorial approach?

In theatre, you need to rehearse a number of times with everyone else. But in films, it’s okay if you make a mistake because you can keep trying and improvising.

Also, you get the reaction from the audience immediately in theatrical productions, a reason I lost my stage fright. I also learned a lot about acting there.

What’s in the works for you next?

Both of us are doing a comedy film together, titled ‘One and Half’. We are making it in six languages. We are thinking of starting the shoot in October because we are looking at a September release for ‘David’.

Director Bargav Yogambar

Has your experience as a choreographer influenced the way you direct?

I’ve been a dancer for 20 years. Being exposed to world cinema, I wanted to make a Hollywood-style film in Kannada. It’s very easy to direct a film when you are a choreographer because I had a sense of rhythm, among other things, and was able to make every frame richer in a song sequence.

Four films in one. Why?

These days, the audience does not want to watch lengthy films. The length of the film is 105 minutes. We felt that keeping it short would appeal to the audience.

We wanted to narrate four stories in one film and wanted to treat them differently.

How did it feel to take your film to a global platform?

Frankly, we had no support while making ‘David’. We decided to invest in the film ourselves and got a strong technical team. For first-time filmmakers like us, going to Cannes is a blessing. We want to create a brand for Kannada in the international market.

Tell us what David is about.

From the hero’s perspective, it’s a love story. But from the director’s perspective, it’s a murder mystery, a crime thriller. There is one incident which connects all the four stories. And there is more than one David in the film -- that is the mystery.

(Published 25 June 2019, 12:24 IST)

Follow us on