'Kannada film industry is waiting for a good film'

'Kannada film industry is waiting for a good film'

Dedicated director

'Kannada film industry is waiting for a good film'

Versatile: Tom Cowan DH Photo by Manjunath M S

Old friends, love for Bangalore and a quest to unravel the inner mystery of individuals on the silver screen have brought well-known Australian director and cinematographer
Tom Cowan to the City.

As he sits and watches the City getting drenched, the director reminisces about the days when he was a mere tourist in the City and bagged the opportunity to be the
cinematographer for the award-winning Kannada film, Samskara, directed by the late Pattabi Rama Reddy.

Today, he has come back with the same passion to work in another Kannada movie.

Called Bangalore Love Story, this movie is being made by Pattabi’s son Konarak Reddy and his wife Kirtana Kumar. In the City for three months, the director who is known for films like ‘Journey Among Women’, ‘The Office Picnic’, ‘Promised Woman’ and Chanda Maruta, also known as ‘Wild Wind’ speaks to Metrolife about Samskara and his upcoming project.

When he first heard the story of Samskara, Tom says that he was dramatically drawn towards it.

“It was a classic and I wanted to be a part of it even if it meant to just bring coffee for everyone. When Pattabi wanted me on board as a cinematographer, I was thrilled. That’s why for me, doing a film with his son today is like paying a tribute to Pattabi,” he says.

The movie, he says, aims to get into the depth of the City and unravel the stories that are hidden inside people, be it an auto driver or a rich industrialist.

“We want to get a picture of the City through its people. Bangalore has changed a lot over the years. But it still has its charm, elegance and values that come out through its people,” he says. 

“The love story is just a way to get into these stories through which, we can highlight the many social conflicts that exist in the City. I don’t like the make believe kind of cinema.
For me, the character has to become the story and then you get the drama out of it,” he adds.

It is this quest for real stories that has pushed him all these years into film-making.

Having dwelled in just about every aspect of the field, one wonders what made Tom take up something like the second season of ‘Survivor’, a reality show, for which he even got an Emmy nomination.

Filming ‘Survivor 2’, he says, was the exact opposite of the kind of work he does.

“I took it up for the experience and I don’t think I will ever do it again. Even though the series has reality as its hook, it is edited and manoeuvred to a climax in each episode to give the audience, an insight into the most horrible and lowly traits and worse motivations of human beings. What we learn from the facile stories is that most people are rather dreadful,” he explains.

Ask him about the kind of Indian film-makers he would like to work with today and he responds, “I do like Aamir (Khan) as a producer. I have seen ‘Delhi Belly’, Dhobi Ghat and even liked ‘3 Idiots’ a lot. As for Kannada films, I feel the industry is still waiting for a very good film that will give it that much-needed push in the market and hopefully ‘Bangalore Love Story’ will be that film,” he signs off with a broad smile.

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