A commercial Sandalwood flick front-lined by women, steering away from the usual masala fare and leaning towards a socially relevant issue, is not what the local audiences are routinely given a fix of. Film maker B.S. Pradeep Varma walked the dicey path for his recent offering, Urvi, and couldn’t be happier — despite the movie not having had a smooth run in the theatres in Bengaluru.
After the film being nominated at five prestigious International film festivals this year, the latest laurel coming its way is being officially selected in the best feature film category at the Ischia Film Festival 2017. The film is scheduled for screening on June 25 at the Aragonese Castle in Italy. In a freewheeling interview, the team tells us more...
“In all honesty, we did not expect the movie to do half as well as it has, when we were scripting and working on it. As somebody who’s always believed in gender equality, I was clear about my intent while making the film. But, not so much about its responses. The fact that it has panned out well has only re-instilled my faith in making cinema that’s socially and morally hard-hitting, opines Varma, who donned the director’s hat and has also worded the lyrics of the opening song Adhara Madhura in the film. Prior to this project, Pradeep Varma directed Chakori, a 30-minute short film, which won a few accolades nationally and internationally.
The movie (Urvi), which centres around topics that are not discussed at large, features Sruthi Hariharan, Shraddha Srinath and Shweta Pandit. Speaking about working with a young team, Pradeep believes namooru is a melting pot of talent. “ I think film-makers need to look around! There is so much talent! I didn’t have to scour Delhi, Mumbai or Calcutta to find the ones that fit the roles. Sruthi, Shraddha and Shweta are natural actors. So it was an experience, indeed.”
Stoked how the nomination is a re-affirmation that the film reverberates with ardent film goers, Sruthi Hariharan, one of the protagonists of the film adds, “While its a proud moment for us, the fact that the movie battled all the challenges and went all the way internationally is what I believe is truly motivating. The viewers which come to a theatre to watch a commercial film are radically different from those who watch films at a film festival. I’m grateful that the efforts have paid off.”
Citing how the initial issues dampened the teams spirits, but the international acclaim is making up for it, Shraddha Srinath adds, “Urvi undeniably has had a much longer journey that we assumed. The movie was made for the Indian Sandalwood films loving audience. Despite not being able to make a mark here, I’m glad the global audiences are making people take note of it.” Hopeful about the movie panning out well, Shweta Pandit signs off by stating, “It feels great to see people come up to you and go like, ‘Hey, its a nice movie! And this, after like not being able to garner the right kind of audience when it released in March. The team is convinced that nothing can stand in the way of an honest film.”