While most debutant directors in Sandalwood aim for commercial success, a few look for critical acclaim. Visual artist-turned-director Manjunath S, whose pen name is Mansore, belongs to the second category. His first film Harivu is all set to be screened at the Bengaluru International Film Festival to be held between December 4-11 and then will travel to the Delhi Film Festival that starts on December 20.
Mansore hopes Harivu will get selected in the Asian Film Competition category at the Bengaluru festival so that his film can be screened for a larger audience. “Over the past six years, I have been regularly attending various film festivals and every time I attended these, I hoped that someday, my work would also be showcased somewhere. Luckily, it happened with my first venture. Getting recognition on a prestigious platform like the BIFFES is one of the reasons that motivated me to turn director. Now that my film has been selected along with so many international projects, it already feels like receiving an award,” he says.
Mansore, a visual artist passed out from Chitrakala Parishath and for the past 10 years, has been working as a freelance art director. He has also worked in print media and has published books. “Over all, my works are mostly related to art,” he says.
The thought of making Harivu came to Mansore in 2011 when he read a column by Dr Asha Benakappa, in a popular Kannada news magazine. The film made on a shoestring budget is based on an unusual psychological premise. “This is about an incident that took place in a government hospital which speaks volumes about the alienation inherent in urbanisation. The story is about the gut belief that the protagonist farmer displays, almost like a ritual, while facing an almost impossible circumstance. The body of his son has to be taken back in a box from the city to his hometown and he has to carry the tragic burden of memory, loss and grief. The sub plots of narratives between the father and son are depicted through the journalist’s pen,” says Mansore. “The protagonist’s affection for his deceased son, layers of pathos, societal conditioning and other human concerns add to the overall representational rendering of this film.”
Mansore further adds, “I wove my life and the relationship I had with my father, who is no more, in the film. I realised that in my busy schedule, I couldn’t spend more time with him. He passed away in 2010 and when I was in depression and just beginning to realise just how much I had missed him, I came across this article, which was also a major influence for Harivu.”
The film has used sync-sound. “Since the theme is based on a true story, I have attempted to picturise it in an existentialist mode, by adopting cinematography in a non-academic way by involving sync-sound. The noise, sound and ambience of the rural-urban dichotomy contain their own specific voices, to be heard through human theatricalities. This is the overall essence that I have tried to bring out in my first film as a director,” he says.
For Mansore, Harivu represents life and time. And all that he wants to tell people through the film is to give importance to their relationships. “I am not giving a lesson here but I am reminding everyone to value relationships. We can’t rewind time. We miss connecting with our dear ones in our busy lifestyle and don’t know how to react when we lose them,” he says.
Mansore plans to release Harivu in February 2015, after which he plans to initiate his next project based on a novel.