'I have not faced gender bias'
Director V Priya, who is making her Kannada debut with a Rockline Venkatesh production, says that industry does not discriminate if you are driven
V Priya, who is marking her directorial debut in Kannada with a Rockline Venkatesh production starring Radhika Pandit and Nirup Bhandari, has temporarily camped in Bengaluru.
Priya trained under Maniratnam and his wife Suhasini, as the writer of Mitr-My Friend. She later directed two Tamil films--Kanda Naal Mudhal and Kannamoochi Yenada--and now she will try her hand in the Kannada industry. In a quick chat with CE, she sounds excited about her yet-to-be-titled movie that will have her working with two strong women--actress Radhika Pandit and cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman.
The director is currently doing her pre-preparation work for the film, including getting the dialogues written by Prashanth Rajappa. She says that the movie will go on floors from September end or October first week. “Meanwhile, I will be doing a photoshoot with the actor,” she says.
She does not want to share too many details about the movie, except to say that it will be a “wholesome family entertainer.” Priya says, “There will be fun, love and drama. I had great fun working on the script. The characters are close to my heart and I have lived with them for years now. I want the audience to experience the warmth I felt for them during the scripting.” She is now working on getting an apt title, and it should be finalised soon.
Artistes and technicians who are devoted to cinema are rarely bogged down by language barriers. But how should one prepare for a new industry? “I have only got encouragement from people across industries, which is beautiful feeling,” she says. “When we step into a new industry, there is fear. But thankfully, I have never experienced hostility even for a minute. I have a good team of people who are rooting for this film. Ultimately, it comes down to story. If I have conviction about my script, then everybody will help to make this a better film in every possible way.”
Priya’s script caught the attention of cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman, who is a good friend. “She worked with me on my second film in Tamil, and we are good friends and even studied at the same institute.” It was Preetha who suggested Radhika Pandit for the lead heroine. “I had also seen Nirup’s Rangitaranga, directed by Anup Bhandari, when it was released in Chennai. Even Yash and Dr Suri were encouraging. But, above all, it was a dream come true to work with Rockline Venkatesh and I enjoyed narrating this story to him,” says Priya, adding, “I am actually on cloud nine and riding the wave; everything's fallen in place as I imagined.”
Priya says that one question that is always asked to women professionals is if they've faced any gender bias. “I have not,” she says. “Everybody treats me as an equal… It comes down to how serious I am about my job. If I am weak, somebody will sit on my head and that is true of any industry. The Kannada industry has given me a warm welcome, and now it is up to me to deliver,” she says.
The film will have Anup Bhandari’s music and Shashidhar Adapa’s artwork.