A first for a Kannada film, Lucia will be premiered at the London Indian Film Festival on July 20 along with other B-Town movies like Monsoon Shootout and Bombay Talkies. Sharing his excitement, director Pawan says, “People think that Indian cinema consists of Bollywood especially outside India. When I was in London for the Young Creative Entrepreneur award last October, I had to shed some light on our regional film industry.”
According to Pawan, though many art films have earned recognition in the past, this is probably the first mainstream Kannada film to get through such a festival. “Though we decided to do something that was already quite popular, we tried a different approach with story-telling and also made use of technology.”
It was the trailer on a social media that went viral. “People could not believe that we could deliver with such finesse and quality with a 5D camera and a `50 lakh budget. So I guess it became quite popular and caught the attention of the festival organisers. They asked for the first cut and I was hesitant because I knew my film was not the ‘festival’ types. I told them sheepishly that my film had five songs and they said, ‘It doesn't matter’. So I just subtitled the film and sent it across and within three weeks we got the surprising news. In a week long festival, they have given us a Saturday and Sunday slot and that’s big,” he says.
Previously, Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW) was also premiered at this festival. Being an admirer of Anurag Kashyap, Pawan was more than happy that after the hit, his film be will premiered at the festival. “So when I figured that there was an opportunity to showcase my film in a festival where GOW had been premiered, I had to get it,” he says and adds, “I hope Lucia is not going to be just a film. It should be a revolutionary beginning and inspire many other young filmmakers to do something out-of-the-box. That is when I’d feel that this attempt was successful.”
The director will be flying to London along with his director of photography. “We had made extensive plans to take the whole crew and cast. But London is very expensive and it was costing us more than the film's budget. A TV channel almost bought the idea, but with the rupee falling day by day, we lost the deal. I would have loved it if the entire team had come,” he says.
Pawan plans to release the film as soon as he gets back from London. “Lucia might get released by end of July or early August. Let us see if someone will come forward to distribute it because their main criteria to buy a film is ‘star’ presence. We have everything but that,” he says.
On taking the crowd-funded-movie-making route, Pawan admits that initially he was scared. “But the people who actually put in money made me feel more relaxed. I had thought that all the 110 will hound me but they were quite chilled out. A lot of time has gone into this film and if I decide to make another, I would want to speed up the process. I am looking forward to doing a big-budget crowd-funded movie next and who knows, Oscar 2014, could have a Kannada film,” he says with a smile.