The well-known Tamil director Cheran has shown interest in watching TK Dayanand’s debut venture Benkipatna (matchbox) and this has thrilled the latter to no end. Dayanand is excited that the director who inspired him to make the movie in the first place, wants to watch it. Dayanand who’s receiving the first copy of his film in a few days, plans to invite Cheran to watch the film soon after.
“My inspiration for making films mainly came by watching Cheran’s path-breaking films like Autograph and Aadum Koothu among others. Being a fan of this award-winning director, I sent him a couple of teasers, posters and the synopsis of my film through WhatsApp for my own satisfaction. To my surprise, he called me back and spoke to me saying that he was happy to note that Kannada directors were trying out new genres and making films keeping the native context in mind. He also asked me to let him know when I would release the film and that he would come to Bangalore to see it. I was overwhelmed and delighted by this completely unexpected call,” he explains.
Before Benkipatna, Dayanand has directed a number of tele-films as well as worked on the editing desk. He admires and hopes to emulate directors who have explored unusual subjects and gone down lesser-travelled paths. “Directors like Vasant Bala, Balaji Shaktivel, and Cheran do not end up making the regular masala flicks and are still successful in winning the hearts of the audience. Even though I have neither met nor spoken with Cheran before this, invisibly, he has been a backbone for my movie and the inspiration behind it,” he says.
According to the first-time director, Benkipatna produced by Masthi Zakir Ali Khan, is based upon ground realities. “A superhero figure blowing up six cars at one time can only be seen on screen and is the stuff of imagination, whereas the characters in my film are commonplace characters that you might encounter in your daily life,” says Dayanand. And, he feels happy to have actors like Arun Sagar, Anushree and the newcomer Pratap Narayan starring in his film. He is also aware that being a first-time director, he definitely needs to have something extra for his film to do the talking. “Luckily, two songs from the film—Bogaseyalli written by Jayanth Kaikini and sung by Rajesh Krishan and Anuradha Bhat and Doori Doori, written by Dinesh Kumar and sung by Vijay Prakash—has been declared a hit. So 25 per cent of my promotion has already been taken care of. The positive feedback began when Velu of Lahari Audio, who has bought the audio rights of our film, told me ‘After A, Amruthavarshini and Roja, the best songs I have heard have been from this film.’ I have done my best and leave it to the public to do the rest,” he says. —A Sharadhaa