‘Funding the project was biggest hurdle’

‘Funding the project was biggest hurdle’

Sachin Shetty, director and scriptwriter of ‘Ondu Shikariya Kathe’, talks about the film

The real reward for any filmmaker is the whole-hearted acceptance or appreciation from the audience for the richness of his craft and not the money spent. This became a reality for a small-town boy from Mukundapura who had dreamed of narrating stories since childhood.

Metrolife caught up with Sachin Shetty, the director and scriptwriter of ‘Ondu Shikariya Kathe’ which won the first runner-up prize in the Best Kannada Film category at Bengaluru International Film Festival, out of the 128 movies which competed. Shot in the scenic locations of Thirthahalli, Kundapura, and Agumbe, the suspense-thriller is winning the hearts of the audiences in a big way.

How has your journey as a filmmaker been so far?

I was always an avid reader of Kannada literature even in school. That triggered my urge to tell stories and after moving to Bengaluru I realised that cinema was the best medium to do this. I worked under the tutelage of director P Sreshadhri for three years to learn all the intricacies of movie-making.

When did you get the idea of making this movie?

Right after my stint with Sheshadri sir, I immersed myself in writing this story for six months, during which I gathered a team for various departments and finalised the artistes. Funding the project was the biggest challenge as everybody looks at the end product; in its nascent stage, a strong story is all I had.

Finally, me and my father decided to put in the money from our own pockets which gave us the freedom to emphasise on the quality without rushing into finishing the movie. The entire process took us about two years to complete, including post-production. 

How does it feel to win such a prestigious award and get a positive response from the audience?

Honestly, I had expected the movie to get selected for a nomination in the Best Kannada Film category but we were overjoyed to have made it to the Best Indian Film category, as well. It has been overwhelming and all the efforts put in by a small team, coupled with hard work and passion, has paid off. 

Tell us about roping in Pramod Shetty for the lead role in the movie?

I approached him when he was shooting for ‘Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale’ in Kasargod. He immediately agreed as he was impressed with the story, without bothering about the fact that we were all new-comers. As someone who has 20 years of theatre experience, he has essayed the role of a 50-year-old man impeccably. His performance enhanced the movie.

Thoughts about the movie being released in theatres across the state...

There are about 25 shows running in the city and in many single-screen theatres in Karnataka. We aren’t equipped to promote our movie in a big way and are dependent on spreading the message through word of mouth and social media posts. Everybody worked as a team without hesitating to take up any job during the making of the film. I hope more people come and watch it so it gives us courage and encouragement to do better work in the future.

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