V Priya, who is marking her directorial debut in Sandalwood with a Rockline Venkatesh production starring Radhika Pandit and Nirup Bhandari, has temporarily camped in Bengaluru.
Priya is trained under Maniratnam and his wife Suhasini, as the writer of Mitr-My Friend. She later directed two Tamil films - Kanda Naal Mudhal and Kannamoochi Yenada - and now she will try her hand in Kannada industry. In a quick chat with City Express, she sounds excited about her yet-to-be-titled movie that will have her working with two strong women – actress Radhika Pandit and cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman.
The director is currently doing her pre-preparation work for the film, including getting the dialogues written by Prashanth Rajappa. She says that the movie will go on floors from September end or October first week. “Meanwhile, I will be doing a photoshoot with the actor...,” she says.
She does not want to share too many details about the movie, except say that it will be a “wholesome family entertainer”.
Priya says, “There will be fun, love and drama… I had great fun working on the script. The characters are close to my heart and I have lived with them for years now. I want the audience to experience the warmth I felt for them during the scripting.” She is now working on getting an apt title, and it should be finalised soon.Artistes and technicians who are devoted to cinema are rarely bogged down by language barriers.
But should one be prepared for a new industry? “I have only got encouragement from people across industries, which is beautiful feeling,” she says. “When we step into a new industry, there is fear. But thankfully, I have never experienced hostility even for a minute. I have a good team of people who are rooting for this film. Ultimately it comes down to story. If I have conviction about my script, then everybody will help to make this a better film in every possible way.”
Priya’s script caught the attention of cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman, who is a good friend, first.
“She had worked with me on my second film in Tamil, and we are good friends and even studied at the same institute. Preetha suggested Radhika Pandit for the lead heroine because she believed that Radhika would be perfect for that role. I had also seen Nirup’s Rangitaranga, directed by Anup Bhandari, when it was released in Chennai. Even Yash and Dr Suri were encouraging. But, above all, it was a dream come true to work with Rockline Venkatesh and I enjoyed narrating this story to him,” says Priya, adding, “I am actually on cloud nine and riding the wave, everything should fall in place as I had imagined.”
Priya says that one question that is always asked to women professionals is if she has faced any gender bias. “I have not,” she says. “Everybody treats me as an equal… It comes down to how serious I am about my job. If I am weak, somebody will sit on my head and that is true of any industry.
Sandalwood has given me a warm welcome and now it is up to me to deliver,” she says.
The film will have Anup Bhandari’s music and Shashidhar Adapa’s artwork.