When director Hamsa Vijeth looked for a subject, she did not go by the trend. Instead, she opted for a subject with a spiritual dimension. Her next outing is Shivayogi Shri Puttayaijja on the life of
Pandit Puttaraj Gawai. Visually impaired, he was a great Hindustani classical musician and a scholar who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008. “This is my second film with my debut being a devotional movie titled Banashankari Maata. This film is planned for a Sankranthi release,” says Hamsa, who is the grand daughter of renowned actor Uday Kumar, who emphasises that it is a full-fledged film and not a documentary. “It is a feature film, which has a certain cinematic touch. Those who have got a glimpse of the story have appreciated my work,” she says.
According to her, it is a biographical approach and Vijay will be seen portraying Pandit Puttaraj from 22 years to of 90. “We have used graphics to present the older part of Puttaraj’s age,” she revealed.
The makers have extensively shot at real locations in Gadag. “We have shot at the mutt where Puttaraju lived and around Badami and Aihole near Pattadkal. We chose the north Karnataka belt to keep the authentic feel,” she says.
Having chosen Vijay Raghavendra to play the role of Pandit Puttaraj, she asserts that he has given his all for the role. “I only had Vijay in mind when I thought of the subject. He was part of Panchakshari Gavayi, in which he played the role of junior Panchakshari Gavayi, which had Lokesh in the lead. This film is also on those lines. Vijay is hard working and honest, so we had the advantage of not looking for choices,” she says.
Apparently, the actor learnt the mannersim of Puttaraj by watching a CD given to him by the director. “The highlight of the scholar was that he was very jovial and the way he used to perform pooja was very special, which is captured well by Vijay. In fact, we witnessed people falling at his feet as they felt that Puttaraj came alive in the
Hamsa started as an actor who worked in serials and a couple of films before she plunged into direction. For her, doing a film like Puttaraj can be once in a lifetime. “My father Vishwa Vijetha is also an artiste. It was my husband, Shyam Mukunda Navane, my producer-husband, who encouraged me to turn director,” says Hamsa, who didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with her grandfather. “He passed away when I was one-and-a-half years old. However, going by his films, he is an amazing actor. I am blessed to be his grandaughter,” she says.