'Pramod and Prasanna theatres were my second home’
...says Khadar Kumar as he talks about his debut directorial Veeram. He also shares about his father Shivaraju, who was a junior artist
Khadar Kumar was 11 years when his journey with cinema started. Being the son of junior artiste Shivaraju, Khadar began his career in films by associating with his friend, Pavan Wadeyar from Govindaya Namaha to Natasarvabhowma.
But he shares that his learning and unlearning related to cinema took place in Pramod and Prasanna theatres. “I grew up watching every film that was released in these theatres, and they were my second home and my guru. Watching films here helped me to learn about the making in cinema and about every Kannada artistes. Though I did a six-month course in filmmaking, every Friday release taught me the craft,” explains Khadar, on the sidelines of his debut release Veeram slated to release on April 7.
“Story, screenplay, and dialogues became my forte at a very young age, and I think I inherited this from my father, who had played minor roles in over 800 films.” Initially, he didn’t like me entering the cinema field. But hearing me chant Dr Vishnuvardhan’s name, and seeing me watch films every week, he allowed me to fulfill my dreams. I didn’t see the difficulty faced by a junior artiste, but he became my inspiration,” he says.
Khadar Kumar is a well-known talent among the filmmaker’s circle. However, it has taken 10 years to realise his directorial project Veeram. “I came to the industry as a script writer, and Pavan was my good friend, with whom I started working. Though there was a lot of preparation from my end, eventually I got to realise that everything has its time and when things will fall in place. Though I had a few productions, who came forward to team up, I managed to find the right producer in KM Shashidhar, and Veeram happend,” says the debutant director.
About, Veeram, Khadar says it is both a commercial entertainer and is a family story. “Anger is something, which might make or break the family, which is the underline theme of my directorial debut,” says the director. The film starring Prajwal, and the glimpses from the trailers and teasers, sees the actor, sporting a rugged look, long hair and beard, and a fan of legendary actor, Dr. Vishnuvardhan. The director quips, and reason behind placing the thespian Vishnuvardhan in the picture. “I am a big fan of Vishnuvardhan, and I like to disclose that I had even penned a script for the legendary actor when I was in my 9th standard and had titled it, Agent Vishnu. But couldn’t bring it on the silver screen. However, my love for the actor is alive, and I wanted to bring him into my first film as a tribute. This tattoo of Vishnuvardhan inked on Prajwal comes as a character through the entire film, and gets an important placement,” he says.
Khadar says he had a fixed mindset of doing a commercial entertainer blend with content, as he feels that given any day, it is a genre that cine-goers mostly enjoy. “Sitting amongst the audience at these two theatres, I would think deeply explore what scenes they most enjoyed, whistled, and connected with, and I have tried and applied in Veeram,” he says.
Veeram has Rachita Ram as the female lead and also features Srinagar Kitty in a pivotal role, and Deepak of Shishya fame as the antagonist. Anoop Seelin has scored the music for the film, and has cinematographer by Lavith Kumar.