Arjun Sarja’s nephew debuts with ‘Atharva’

Pavan Teja and Sanam Shetty are stepping into Sandalwood with 'Atharva'.

Kannada film ‘Atharva’, which is directed by Arun, hit the screens on Friday.

Pavan Teja, from Arjun Sarja’s family. and Sanam Shetty, who has acted in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films, have made their debut into Sandalwood with this film.  

Director Arun wrote a one-line story four years ago which received a lot
of support from kith and kin. “This is when I approached the producer Vinay Kumar and co-producer Rakshay and they supported the project,” he says.

The story of ‘Atharva’ goes: Rachita (Sanam Shetty) is a journalism student and she is doing research for an article, in course of which she meets Nanda (Pavan Teja). Various incidents lead to the rest of the film. 

Arun developed on the story after being inspired by real-life incidents.

“Atharva’s biggest attraction is its screenplay. Another reason people should head to the theatres to watch the film is because it has romance, action, comedy, family and mass elements in the script,” he says.

As any debut director, Arun faced a lot of challenges during the making of the movie. “Every film is a training ground and ‘Atharva’ has taught me different things, especially about managing things well,” he says.    

Pavan Teja as Nanda

He says, “This is my debut movie and it is very special to me. As a child, I grew up watching my uncle Arjun Sarja’s films. I always wanted to be an actor and when I was in college, I started working in theatre. When I decided to become an actor, I wanted to work in a film which would feature me in different avatars. ‘Atharva’ has all these elements.”

What attracted you to ‘Atharva’: “The first time I heard about ‘Atharva’, I felt an instant soul connect to the story. Atharva is not just a movie, it’s an experience.”

Challenges faced: “The movie was a learning ground. I play three different avatars in the film which required different body languages. I also worked with senior artistes like Tara, Dharmendra Urs and Suchendra Prasad, which was a blessing.” 

Sanam Shetty as Rachita

Sanam who has acted in 14 films across the South Indian film industries feels that ‘Atharva’ will be her big break into Sandalwood. 

“I play Rachita, a journalism student who is a brave girl. She has a lot of emotional baggage but never shows it outside. She is a modern girl and is never shown as an inferior to anyone in the film. 

What’s different: “I don’t think I have played such a strong character in any of my other hero-centric films. I play many emotions through the film which explored me as an actor.”

Memorable moments from sets: “There were many such moments. The film has a sad song and while we were shooting for it, I had to get drenched in rain. I had never done such a song before and it led to frustration, which added to the emotions required in the scenes.”

Yashwanth Shetty as Maari Mahadeva

‘Atharva’ is Yashwanth’s seventh movie and he plays a dark character in the film.

Yashwanth says, “After movies like ‘Jwalantham’, ‘John Johnny Janardhan’ and ‘Noorondu Nenapu’, my character Maari Mahadeva is different what I have done earlier. I play a rugged person who runs many illegal activities and businesses.”

What’s different: “My character talks too loudly. He always has red swollen eyes and looks rough. Even his dressing style is different. I am sporting a different hairstyle and coloured hair in the movie.”

Interesting experiences: “There were times when we shot from 9 am to 2 am, which left us with very few hours to sleep. Acting with several senior artistes was quite challenging.” 

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Arjun Sarja’s nephew debuts with ‘Atharva’

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