‘Pailwaan' is about finding talent and encouraging it

Having directed three films, S Krishna shed slight on his struggles of making it big. His latest film is set to release this Friday

I have always been a movie buff. As a teenager, I would make sure that I watched every single film that hit the screens. I was more excited if the film was a Dr Rajkumar one.

Every time I watched a movie, especially as a teenager, I remember being fascinated by the angry-young-man character and somewhere that thought is reflected in my films today.

I began my career in the film industry as a cinematographer with ‘Heart Beats’. I must have worked in at least a dozen films before I got my first big break in ‘Mungaru Male’. It changed my life forever. I was flooded with offers, not only from the Kannada industry but also from the Tamil and Telugu industries. 

The appreciation and recognition that I got after ‘Mungaru Male’ definitely made up for my years of struggle. I also realised that I yearned to do more.

I had many more stories building up that I wanted to share. That’s when I decided to direct ‘Gajakesari’. The film did well and my next film ‘Hebbuli’ was also a roaring success. 

Having directed three films, including ‘Pailwaan’ releasing on September 12, I realised that my stint as a cinematographer has helped me enhance and tighten the visual experience. A cinematographer is like a vice-captain and works hand in hand with the director. He or she executes the director’s vision.

Films with a message

I come from a lower-middle-class family and films with a larger-than-life figure have always fascinated me. I have grown up watching such films. My films have always reflected this. If ‘Gajakesari’ is about deforestation, ‘Pailwaan’ is about identifying one’s talent and encouraging it. I believe that films can make or break a director. Most of my films are entertaining but they come with a strong message.

Family: A great support system

I am a true Bengalurean. I completed my schooling from East-West School in Rajajinagar and did my pre-university in VV Puram College. I went to Bangalore Film Institute to complete a course in cinematography.  

No one in my family is from the film fraternity. They were surprised when I told them that I wanted to make a career in films. They didn’t have a clue about the industry and I had no godfather to guide me. But my family, including my wife, had immense faith in my potential.

I started my career in television but found no ground there. I then did a short stint in corporate films but to no avail. I later ventured into films. But that journey wasn’t easy. I had to struggle to make both ends meet. Opportunities were far and few in number. I have, during my initial years, knocked on many doors and returned disappointed. There have been nights when I have gone to bed hungry. I never let my family know that. I am grateful that they gave me the chance to chase my dream. 

There’s a soul in ‘Pailwaan’

I was impressed with the Khelo India concept. Sport is an important part of a child’s life. But it is often put on the backburner and kids are forced to focus on their academics. ‘Pailwaan’ sends out a message that real talent in every field, mainly sports, must be identified and encouraged. We must nourish young talents. I have seen that a lot of my friends weren’t able to chase their passion for sports because their parents wanted them to focus on something else. They had to leave their first love behind and toe their parent’s line. ‘Pailwaan’ is a film with a soul.

(S Krishna)

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