Metrolife: CM as movie producer: industry recalls his style

Jaggesh with HD Kumaraswamy.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is in Delhi, grappling with the Congress to form a Cabinet. Here, in Bengaluru, the film fraternity sees him as one of its own and is upbeat about the industry’s prospects.

Not many outside the industry know the new chief minister began life as a film producer.

Described by many as a passionate filmmaker supportive of his cast and crew, he has produced a string of Kannada films, some of which are big hits.

Among his productions are: ‘Premotsava’, ‘Ghalate Aliyandru’, ‘Surya Vamsha’, ‘Jitendra’, ‘Chandra Chakori’, ‘Halunda Tavaru’, ‘ Jaguar’ and ‘Seetaram Kalyan’. 

Metrolife asked the film fraternity about Kumaraswamy the producer, and this is what they say.

Jaggesh, Actor and BJP leader

He was a great distributor and producer. He has distributed many of my movies in the Mysuru region. He produced my film ‘Jitendra’. He is a good businessman and paymaster. His passion for movie-making helped steer many projects ahead. Initially, I didn’t want to act in the film as it seemed to be subtly criticising an actor-friend. I had declined the role. But Kumaraswamy convinced me to take it up and told me it would be a fun comedy. We always spoke about cinema. Even now, we share a good rapport despite our political differences.”

Special moment: “On the ‘muhurat’ day, I told him he would become chief minister one day and he laughed. I told him it was my intuition.”  

Most memorable: “He is a very jovial person and would host parties for us. He always appreciated the lighter side of life.” 

Sriimurali, Actor

He produced my debut film ‘Chandra Chakori’ and that will always remain a cherished memory. Kumaraswamy has great taste in films and likes creativity. He is knowledgeable about what a good script is and how viable it is to produce it. 

Special moment: “He was confident about investing lavishly, even though it was my debut movie. The movie ran for over a year and paved the way for several great offers. All the credit goes to the director and the producer.”

Most memorable: “He has instant belief in certain things and hates compromising on quality.”

Dinesh Baboo, Director

“I did ‘Premotsava’ under his banner and it was a blessing to work with him. As producer, he had a big vision. He trusts the director with the project. Whatever was required for the film to progress smoothly, he would provide. He would often arrange for things a day ahead of the shoot. Finance was never a problem as long as the expenditure was justified. When we were shooting in Ooty, he was often on the sets. Back at the hotel, at night, he would sit with Vishnuvardhan and me as we discussed the next day’s scenes. Though he would share his thoughts, he never interfered.”

Special moment: “We had to create an automobile  workshop at Ooty, and the art director had sought Rs 2.5 lakh for it. Kumaraswamy understood it was required for the script and did not hold back when our expenses crossed Rs 4 lakh. He was a great team member.”

Most memorable: “Kumaraswamy is one of the calmest and most soft-spoken people I have ever met, which is rare for a producer. He can inspire anyone with his talk.”

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Metrolife: CM as movie producer: industry recalls his style

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