'A pistol is bigger than the hero of Churikatte'
...says director Raghu Shivamogga, who believes that the success of his short film helped him bag his first feature film
Director Raghu Shivamoga’s short film Chowka Bara and its success led him to his first feature film Churikatte. He knew that a short film would introduce people to his work and build their confidence in his ability.
“Thankfully, it worked,” says Raghu, adding, “Even though making a short-film comes with its own limitations, it reached varied audiences. I was lucky that it won critical acclaim and awards. This recognition made Churikatte possible.”
The script of Churikatte has an interesting backstory. Raghu says, “A pistol inspired this film’s script… Praveen plays the lead, but the pistol is bigger than the hero in our film. This weapon impacts every character’s life in the film.”
The story is set in a timber-mafia world, and Raghu explores how people’s lives change with decisions made in a minute, out of anger. This affects lives of people around them and shapes a local political system. The film is set in a small village Churikatte, a name that evokes dread. He says, “It is a small hamlet, which I have upgraded as taluk in the film.”
Raghu hopes that Churikatte will spark a discussion on global warming. “Those who talk much about environment and ecology, don’t seem to mind owning three cars. They preach but don’t practice, and will be the first to point fingers at others. I have tried to raise these concerns in this entertainer,” he says.
The director says that he picked Praveen for his talent and also for another reason. “Praveen is from Malnad region and he knows the place well. He and I had similar stories to tell about that region and he could connect well to the storyline,” he says.
Like every debutant’s project, Churikatte did take a while to make. “Newcomers don’t have producers waiting in line. So you always work with that fear. Thankfully, I am blessed to have a good producer. I don’t believe in wasting money and he believed in my film,” he says.
A branded production house also came forward to distribute his film. KRG Studios, owned by Karthik Gowda, a sister concern of Hombale Films, will distribute the film across Karnataka.
“Talk about this project has been around for a year now, but with KRG Studios in the picture, the level of expectation has peaked. People have started seeing us differently. The distributors placed their faith in us,” he says.
Churikatte, produced by S Nayazuddin and M Tulasiramudu, also features Achyuth Kumar, Sharath Lohitaswa, Prerana Kambam, Balaji Manohar, and Manjunath Hegde, and has music by Vasuki Vaibhav.