Rishab Shetty, director of films such as Ricky and Kirik Party, is equally excited about his upcoming children’s film for which he had come up with a unique title Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale, Kasargodu Koduge Ramanna Rai.
Rishab, who wrapped up the shoot with a 55-day schedule at one stretch, says that it was a beautiful experience working with children. Sharing the first few stills from the film with City Express, Rishab says, “I thought of making a children’s film while directing Ricky. I wanted this to be a content-driven film, and not a starry affair, with the story told mostly through children. Of course we have Anant Nag playing a pivotal role, who I call as a fine actor.”
The director turns producer for the first time with Sarkari Hiriya…, a movie made under Rishab Films. “I had to compromise a lot during the making of Ricky. When I decided to make a film the way I wanted to and following what the story demanded, I decided to responsibility of its production too,” he says.
Rishab auditioned at least 1,000 kids before he chose around 30 of them, who were then sent to a workshop. Finally, nine were finalised. “We had a whole lot of school children taking part in our shoot. This is a film that talks about the school and its surroundings, more a children’s version of Kirik Party. Having said that, this is not only for children and has characters of every age involved. Except for Anant Nag, the cast is mostly made up of newcomers,” he says.
While the director is aware that few children’s films are made, he cites the example of Tamil film Kaka Mottai, which he says was another reason to make this film. “I have often heard that a children’s film is made on a small budget, with filmmakers shooting on a subsidy given by the government. There have been a few like that as well. But Sarkari Hiriya... is technically more advanced than Kirik Party, and I completed the shooting with a Gimbal camera,” he says.
The film is now in post-production stage, at the edit desk. “I hope to bring out the movie for next summer or even earlier, but it all depends on what movies will be out around the same time,” he says.
Rishab Shetty is also spearheading the making of Katha Sangama, a tribute to director Puttana Kanagal. This is an amalagamation of seven stories, helmed by various directors.
‘Anyone who wants to learn acting must just observe Anant Nag’
Rishab says, “The senior actor plays an important role in our film. After having directed him, I have to agree with the others that he is a true legend. The way he prepares for a character is truly amazing. Other actors must study him to better their craft”.