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Rishika Sharma: The major plus of Vijayanand is Gopi Sundar's music- Cinema express

Rishika Sharma: The major plus of Vijayanand is Gopi Sundar's music

Director Rishika Sharma and Anand Sankeshwar share their thoughts about the upcoming biopic on the legendary businessman, Vijay Sankeshwar

Published: 08th December 2022

Rishika Sharma belongs to a family of film personalities, and being the grand niece of legendary filmmaker GV Iyer, she naturally grew up with a fondness for the world of cinema. “Though direction was always in my mind, what goes in between ‘action and cut’ was learnt by me much later when I started working as assistant director. I studied psychology and journalism and worked as a web journalist. Having juggled various aspects of filmmaking for 3 years, which included acting, I realised that I wanted to take up direction seriously, and that paved the way for my debut, Trunk (2018),” says director Rishika Sharma, who is hoping to reach a pan-Indian audience with her sophomore film, Vijayanand. The biopic which traces the life of the legendary businessman, Vijay Sankeshwar, is slated to release on December 9.

Rishika believes that film as a medium should always add value in some form and adds that it was challenging to handle a biopic of a famous personality, who is an inspiration across the world. “It was actor Nihal, who brought me this project, and I took 3 months to do research. I went through articles, and episodes in his life to come up with a showreel to be presented to Vijay Sankeshwar. After much conviction, Vijay Sir gave us 5 days of his time and narrated his life. He also involved his family and friends, who gave us ample input. Finally, we had 150 hours of interviews, which ultimately was utilised for the two-and-a-half-hour film.”

She states that Vijayanand wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the legend Vijay Sankeshwar, and his son, Anand Sankeshwar. “The proverb ‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’ worked in the reverse for me. I had the blessings of men, right from my grandfather, my father, and a few directors, who supported me. Their warmth, protection, and encouragement made me pull off this big project.”

Rishika says that scale and manpower are the backbones of any film. “Even though it is a biopic, we have added commercial aspects to it and didn’t compromise on the budget. We had 5000 to 6000 junior artists, and interestingly all were from North Karnataka. We managed to rope in the best technical team including Keerthan Poojary and Hemanth Kumar, who added value to the film. The major plus of Vijayanand is Gopi Sundar’s music. All of them travelled with me with a single vision for 2 years,” she says.

Anand Sankeshwar, who is marking his maiden production venture with Vijayanand says, “This is a film dedicated to all Kannadigas. It portrays the struggles of an entrepreneur, his grittiness, and his determination to rise over adversities. I am sure this offering would be loved by everyone. I call upon our youth to awaken their entrepreneurial streak within, dream, and achieve!

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