It’s a risk working with newcomers, but I enjoy it: Yogaraj Bhat
The director's Panchatantra, which is set for release this Friday, mostly features youngsters
Panchatantra has Yogaraj Bhat doing something new. Without letting go of his roots, the director has decided to try out something different from his usual romantic dramas. And the pre-release buzz for the film, with racing as its backdrop, has given him a sense of confidence, says Bhatru, who tells us that the film’s USP is its screenplay. “This film is very different from my previous films. The race is on par with international standards,” says Yogaraj, adding that the basic story is based on the popular tale of the rabbit-and-tortoise race.
The film also highlights the generation gap between millennials and seniors. This required Bhatru to handle mostly upcoming talents -- Vihan, Sonal Monteiro, and Akshara Gowda -- along with senior actor, Rangayana Raghu. “I like making a film with newcomers as it has its own advantages. I believe they bring in a freshness to the screen. Mingling with youngsters also helped me with new ideas. I always feel that in the process of coaching them, we learn a lot, which shows in our writing,” he says, adding, “If every director chases stars, there should also be someone who establishes newcomers. After all, yesterday’s newcomers are today’s stars. It’s always a risk working with newcomers, but I enjoy it.”
Bhatru’s Favourite sports
Only few know of Bhatru’s interest in sports. While his favourite games include volleyball, cricket and table tennis, the filmmaker says he likes any game that gives him a thrill. “I love watching races that keep us on the edge,” he says.
The director credits Masti Manju and Kanthappa for the story idea of Panchatantra. “I’ve added the limbs to it,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve brought in my signature style with the lyrics and dialogues. This time, the film is a notch higher than usual. And the audience will notice that,” he adds with an air of confidence.
Much has changed since Bhatru first started out as a director. “However, what I continue to look for when I begin a project are fresh thoughts and technicians. I need variation. Unpredictability brings in a thrill and allows you to think of new ideas. The screen and cameras remain constant. What changes is what the director is able to bring in,” he says.
He seems to have slowed down in his career in recent times.The filmmaker interestingly attributes this to digitisation. “Believe it or not, with digitisation, the work has actually multipled. The number of departments have increased and the process has become longer,” he says.
It is said that Panchatantra is coming out at more or less the right time, considering the current political scenario. To this Bhatru replies, “Join the race that begins this week. The film will definitely explain all queries.”
Hariprasad Jayann calls himself an "accidental producer" as he entered the industry with the intention of becoming a director. He is now making his debut as producer with Panchatantra, along with Hemanth Paradkar, who is also a script writer. “Nobody came forward to produce the film, since it stars newcomers. We believed in content and director Yogaraj Bhat, and so decided to produce it.”