'David' trailer out

Shreyas Chinga, plays Gautham, in the film ‘David’

Kannada suspense thriller ‘David’ has had quite a year and it’s not even released yet. The film debuted at the Cannes film festival and had it’s trailer launch on Karnataka Rajyotsava. Shreyas Chinga, the lead actor speaks to Metrolife about the film’s journey and how growing up around his art director father has influenced his career. 

You’ve been working on ‘David’ for over three years, how does it feel to finally release the trailer?

I think this is the best part, it doesn’t matter how many days or years you work because the audience doesn’t ask you about that. At the end of the day, what they want is a good product and judging by the responses, I think we’ve achieved half of what we thought we could. The only thing we have to ensure now is that it reaches more people. That’s the only concern. 

The trailer is very fast paced and jam packed, can the audience expect the same from the film?

There’s a lot happening in the movie. It’s more of a character based film than a hero based movie. You can see this in the name of the film, which is the villain’s and not the hero’s name. The director, Bargav Yogambar, has paid attention to each and every character. 

There are four parallel stories that happen in the first half and at the interval point they meet. There is one epicentre where two murders, one kidnapping and an accident take place. From this point the hero takes it forward. 

You are much more than just an actor in ‘David’. What has your journey with the film been like?

I am a technician before a lead actor and I can’t help but be involved in the film in all aspects. I’ve been working with Bargav since the pre-production. You could unofficially call me an associate director. (laughs) We started off with making a teaser with an iPhone to pitch the film to producers. That itself got around 1.5 lakh views on Facebook, which lead us to getting picked up by producers. I have also co-produced the film and helped with line production. In fact, as part of the director’s team I was involved in aspects of casting, costumes and more. It has been a truly collaborative effort. 

I can wholeheartedly call it a technician’s film, everyone involved has put their heart and soul into the film. 

The film debuted at Cannes this year, how was your experience at the festival?

Cannes is like paradise for filmmakers. It was an amazing experience and the film was very well received. 

We got support from the central government to take the film there; which was great as there’s not a lot of support for Kannada films in places like Cannes. We have to work towards that, but I see the success of ‘David’ as the success of the industry.

When can we expect ‘David’ to release?

We don’t have a date yet, we’re still discussing with the distributors. Since it’s a small film with a new team, we need a good two week window where there are no huge releases. We need word of mouth to garner attention and films with a star cast might take our reach away. It makes no sense to release it hastily at a bad time after putting so much effort into it. December has a lot of big releases so I don’t know if we’ll get theatres; we’re currently aiming for a January release. 

Although ‘David’ is your first big film. you have a connect to the film industry through your father, who is an art director and property master. What have you learnt from him?

I learnt a lot from him but I’ve tried not to take his support. I don’t go around telling people that he is my father to get opportunities. But whenever I need advice, he’s always been there. He also actively promotes all the work I do. All my friends and family have been supportive that way, not that I’m in a very big position, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. 

This 10-year journey would have finished five years back if I didn’t have them backing me.

You began your career in theatre, was cinema always your end goal or was it a natural progression?

I was always working towards cinema as the main career option, because it’s very hard to make a living through just theatre. Since I didn’t have a second job as a backup, I had to be mindful of the financial aspect as well. 

What’s next for you?

We, Bargav and I, have started a film called ‘One and Half’. After going to Cannes, we made a few international contacts who’d like to work with us; so we’re planning to release it in six languages, including English.

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