I believe in giving value to the money that goes into every picture: Rockline Venkatesh
The producer who has bankrolled films in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi, talks about his upcoming release Natasaarvabhouma
Celebrations have begun for Puneeth Rajkumar’s fans with the release date of Natasaarvabhouma nearing. While a single fan has booked the entire Urvashi theatre for a 4 am show, the film is also likely to have a midnight show.
Cinema Express spoke to Rockline Venkatesh, who is producing a film for Puneeth after 10 years. “You should ask Puneeth why he took so long to associate with me. On a serious note, the script also matters when it comes to working with a star. We were waiting for a suitable script, which came through with Natasaarvabhouma,” says Venkatesh, who has also produced films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi.
Natasaarvabhouma, he says, is a relatable story. “It’s a new type of character for Puneeth. No doubt, all his films are different, but this one has him playing with a ‘spirit’,” says Venkatesh.
As a producer, he is well-versed with the technicalities of filmmaking. “It is very important for the producer to study the market, industry, films of other languages, and films doing well in Karnataka. What are the kinds of stories actors’ attempt, how are they connecting with the audience...these are questions that a producer must consider,” says Venkatesh, adding that as a producer, he observes the highlights of the film, and discusses it with the director. “An investor cannot be blind. I give a lot of time to every project of mine. I believe in giving value to the money that goes into every picture.”
As a veteran producer, how is the Kannada industry doing? “I was told 250 films released in 2018. There is volume, but where is the quality? The government provides subsidies to encourage filmmakers, but these subsidies are being misused. Movies are shot on mobile phones, and with shoe-string budgets of Rs 10-20 lakh only to avail subsidies. This has only increased the volume, but the success rate is very low. From my observations, films are either produced for subsidies or festivals,” says Venkatesh, who goes on to add, “There are filmmakers who are trying to experiment. However, somewhere the quality is getting diluted. It is important for every filmmaker to keep the working of the industry in mind. This is where they get name and fame, and it should not be exploited. I want every director, actor, and producer to grow along with the Kannada industry, and our content should be the talk in other industries.”