In today’s Kannada industry, a trailer often ends up deciding the fate of a film and going by this trend, young director Anup Bhandari’s teaser trailer for Rangitaranga fits the bill quite perfectly. It has been creating quite a buzz on social media. The film which is a thriller has an intriguing teaser trailer with brief shots of the film’s stunning locales as well as an introduction to the characters. The video reveals a taste of the film that is to follow. “I wanted to present a character- driven trailer more than one revolving around a single hero. I strongly feel that one should not let out too much in the trailer and instead it should keep the audience intrigued. I wanted to create a teaser where the viewers’ curiosity level is raised and at the same time thy don’t really know much about the plot. Since the film is a mystery, I just wanted to give away a visual slice of the film to get everyone interested in it as well as engage with it,” says Anup.
From short films to a full-length feature
Though Rangitaranga is his first attempt at a feature film, Anup is no novice to filmmaking having made a number of short films. His English-language short called Words received critical acclaim and was selected and screened globally at various film festivals.
“I started off as a music director and then moved towards the short films. Producer HK Prakash who appreciated my film Words was impressed when I told him the story of Rangitaranga and also loved its songs. Words was the main reason that I could even attempt do a Kannada film. Rangitaranga is the culmination of a 10-year-old dream for me,” says Anup. He also shares with us how he conceived the title and story of his film, “There is no word called Rangitaranga in Kannada and it was a name I created. I wanted something that was unique and would be remembered and with a word that doesn’t exist, there is a high probability of that happening. As for the story, I had about three to four scripts in hand, all of which needed big budgets but since it was hard to find a producer, they were shelved. I started writing this script about two years ago and initially I had planned to make a horror film. However, over time, my plot developed and eventually, the film ended up being a mystery/thriller,” says the director.
I don’t want it to sound cliched but Rangitaranga is a complete family entertainer. I wanted to make a movie which I could watch with my parents. It is a character-driven film with powerful roles and strong female characters. The film was shot in a 50-day schedule in Bengaluru, Puttur, Madikere, Ooty, Ottapalam and Allepy in Kerala,” he says.
Rangitaranga is currently completing its post-production work and Anup wants to release the film in a month or two. Interestingly, Anup has taken up a lot of responsibilities for the film. Apart from writing the story and directing the film, the first-timer has also written the screen play and dialogues. He is also the music director of this film and has even sung a couple of songs as well as written their lyrics with background music scored by Ajaneesh Loknath. “I chose to do all this because I felt within the resources given, I was pretty sure, I could do better,” he says.
The film will have a mix of newcomers and established actors. Nirup Bhandari, Radhika Chetan, Avantika Shetty play the leads along with known faces like Sai Kumar Anant Velu, Aravind Rao and Srinath Vasistha. “We picked up artistes from a theatre background. Shilpa Singh, Miss India Universe 2012, has a guest appearance in the film,” he says.
Sai Kumar in a brand new avatar
In contrast to his usual power-packed roles with heavy dialogues, Sai Kumar in Rangitaranga will essay the role of a postmaster in a village who is also a singer in a Yakshagana troupe. “When I wrote the role, I was thinking of a personality like Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal. I had to find somebody in the Kannada industry who could fit the role. As I was browsing the Internet, Sai Kumar’s picture popped up. He looked perfect for the role and to our advantage the actor has never played such a role before. After speaking to the actor over the phone, I presented him with a brief about the role. Sai Kumar was impressed with my short film and when he met me, he loved the character I was offering him. He said, ‘After Police Story, I ended up getting typical roles. The last film I could play a subtle role was in the Telugu film Prasthanam after which this will be the next and it will allow me to challenge myself as an actor,’ he told me. He has done complete justice to the role,” says Anup.
Foreign hands to assist Anup
Anup chose to work with Lance Kaplan and Willaim David, for Rangitaranga and this is also quite a novelty for the Kannada industry. “I worked with Lance for Words and when I was getting the colour correction done for my short film, colorist Shivakumar suggested that I consider Lance for my Kannada film too and I took his advice. Fortunately, Lance accepted and travelled to India because he was to keen to work on an Indian film. Since we were using two cameras, I also chose Willaim David who had earlier worked with my father Sudhakar Bhandari on an ad. Both these foreign hands put together extensive footage for my film, some of which you can see in the trailer,” he says.