Actor wonders why film on playwright Samsa was ignored

Srinivasa Prabhu wonders why unique film on playwright Samsa was ignored

Srinivasa Prabhu talks about how he was saddened by the treatment meted out to a single-shot film that talks about the life and times of a brilliant and paranoid Kannada playwright

The Kannada film ‘Bimba - Aa Tombattu Nimishagalu’ was last in the limelight for entering two record books — it made it to the Universal Records Forum for being the ‘first of its kind single actor-single shot feature film in the world’ and the India Book of Records as ‘a divergent film, which features unique criteria such as a single actor, single shot, single location and a single instrument for the background score’.

‘Bimba - Aa Tombattu Nimishagalu’, which translates to ‘Reflections - Those 90 Minutes’, is a unique film that portrays the last 90 minutes of the 20th century Kannada playwright and poet Saami Venkatadri Iyer, also known as Samsa.

However, the film’s co-director and actor Srinivasa Prabhu is resentful about what he says is the “ignorance” of the Karnataka State Film Awards committee towards the film. In a video posted on social media, he talked about how he was saddened by the treatment meted out to a film that talks about Kannada literature and culture in its home state.

Srinivasa pointed out other instances where the film was neglected. “The Bangalore International Film Festival’s selection committee had initially not allowed our film to compete. It was only after we objected that the officials decided to give us a platform,” he says in the video. The film was screened twice at the festival.

“The Dasara Film Festival screened many films, some of them multiple times, but our film did not get an opportunity. Mysuru is the place where Swamy Venkatadri Iyer grew up and breathed his last. We did not get to screen it even there,” he says.

He compared it to the accolades a Tamil film by Parthiban received, for attempting similar production methods. “We do not receive encouragement from our own people. How can artistes grow? How can our culture grow? How can there be adoption of new methods in our cinema?” “We will be very happy if even a tiny bit of justice is done to the film,” he says.

What the film shows...

Sami Venkatadri Iyer was a novelist, poet and dramatist of the classical Kannada school of literature. Samsa suffered from a persecution complex with a particular paranoia of the police during India’s freedom movement. It is said that he lived in constant fear of being captured by the police during the British rule; so much so that he ended up killing himself. ‘Bimba’ shows the last 90 minutes of the legendary writer’s life letting us into his personal victories and struggles. The film’s music is by Pravin Godkhindi and DOP by PKH Das. The film is directed by Murthy and Sreenivasa Prabhu.

Awards and Accolades

URF World Record for ‘First Single Shot - Single Actor film.’

Best Indian Regional Film Award at the Rajasthan International Film Festival, 2019.

Nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’ and ‘Best Director of a Foreign Film’ award at Nice International Film Festival, France, 2019.

Nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’ and ‘Best Actor in a Foreign Film’ at Madrid International Film Festival, Spain, 2019.
The Film has also
received accolades from critics and stalwarts of Kannada film and literature such as H S Venkateshmurthy, B R Lakshman Rao, Dr Vijaya, Dr Ganesh Bhat, Nidasale Puttaswamaiah to name a few.

Sami Venkatadri Iyer was a novelist, poet and dramatist of the classical Kannada school of literature. Samsa suffered from a persecution complex with a particular paranoia of the police during India’s freedom movement. It is said that he lived in constant fear of being captured by the police during the British rule; so much so that he ended up killing himself. ‘Bimba’ shows the last 90 minutes of the legendary writer’s life letting us into his personal victories and struggles. The film’s music is by Pravin Godkhindi and DOP by PKH Das. The film is directed by Murthy and Sreenivasa Prabhu.