Having set a certain benchmark for himself in his directorial debut Ball Pen, a critically acclaimed film, Shashikanth is a director who not only knows his job well, but also has the insight to understand where it will be recognised. So, when he took the rights for the remake of Malayalam film, Shutter in Kannada and Tulu, he had a clear vision: keep the nativity of the story alive.
And although he had to forego the direction in Kannada, with Prakash Raj interested in playing the lead as well as directing it, he is rather glad to have completed his film in Tulu, which is titled Shutterdulia.
“It is a first film to be remade in Tulu. The subject of Shutter is so native that I did not have to change anything. More so, because it is a coastal subject, the story matches well with the Tulu audience too,” he says and justifies the remake by touching upon a prevalent but muted trend in filmmaking. “We did not have the money to wait for a year and make our own story. Though there are producers who can invest, but they do not have the kind of budget we except. I had to take up a product, which was ready to be made, but not for its commercial value but for its artistic value,” he says
Shutterdulai has Jai Jagadish playing the lead while Anita Bhat makes her debut in Tulu. “Jai Jagadish hails from Somwarpet, so he knows the language. Anita had to practice her dialogues since she is not familar with the language, but she has done a good job. This film might open a big market for the actress. Apart from the two, Mitra is playing an auto driver and I play a role of a director in the film,” Sashikanth says. With one screenplay song in the film, the music is scored by Manikanth Kadri and cinematography by Niranjan Babu.
Revealing the reason for giving up on the Kannada remake, he says, “Prakash Raj was keen to do Shutter in Kannada and insisted that he direct the film. And I could not think of any other actor other than Prakash Raj to carry that role. The second option was Nana Patekar, but he was too ‘big’ for Kannada cinema and I could not take it to Marathi because it was being remade there too. So I decided to compromise the Kannada remake and gave it away to Prakash Raj.” Prakash has helmed the film in Kannada and titled it as Idolle Ramayana.
He now plans to release in April in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Dubai. “This will be the expanded market for Tulu industry,” he says.