Katha Sangama is an upcoming anthology conceptualised by Rishab Shetty as a tribute to legendary director Puttana Kanagal. The latter was the first director to come with an anthology in 1976. Shetty has jointly produced the film along with H K Prakash and Pradeep NR. The amalgamation of seven short films brings together seven directors -- Kiranraj K, Chandrajith Belliappa, Shashi Kumar P, Rahul PK, Jamadagni Manoj, Karan Ananth, and Jayashankar A. The team also consists of seven cinematographers, musicians, and editors. Ahead of the film’s release on December 6, City Express talks to the seven directors who have helmed different stories in Katha Sangama.
The episode handled by Chandrajith Belliappa is set in an urban background, and he calls this slice-of-life story as the simplest of the seven. It features Kishore, Yagna Shetty and Baby Midnika. Belliappa has tried telling it as a simple story of little joys surrounding a father, mother, and daughter. “It is about fathers sharing a special bond with daughters, and how they tend to become a kid while attending to her joys. This is my ode to all such men out there. If it manages to draw a smile on their faces, that would be my biggest takeaway,” he says. The short film has cinematography by Arvind Kashyap and music by Gagan Baderiya. The director, who was previously a software developer, quit his job and became a full-time writer at Rakshit Shetty’s Seven Odds.
Karan Ananth’s short film in Katha Sangama deals with the rare genre of magic realism. “Sathya Murthy is a 60-year-old employee at an insurance company. A day before his retirement, his anxiety enters a regretful phase. How does he end up making peace with himself? That’s the core idea,” he says. The film story and screen play written by Madhuri N Rao stars Prakash Belawadi and Sowmya Jaganmurthy. With music by Vasu Dixit, Deepak Yeragara has handled the cinematography and Bharath MC as editor. Karan entered the cinema profession through a short documentary titled The Blind Side, which won several awards at regional and international festivals. The filmmaker, who has worked in companies like DreamWorks animation, forayed into mainstream Kannada films with the film, Gultoo. He has assisted many filmmakers in India and abroad, and says cinema’s unpredictable quality gives him the thrills. Katha Sangama happened when his short film, The Blind Side, was selected from 2,500 shorts considered for the film.
Sashi Kumar P
Sashi Kumar been working in the Kannada film industry from 2013, and has been a part of acclaimed films like Lucia, Ulidavaru Kandante, Ricky and Kirik Party. Katha Sangama is his first film as a full-fledged director. “ My story is a fantasy comedy-drama. It has a small but pivotal element of science fiction which is incorporated in a folklore-ish way. The protagonist, Vini (Raj B Shetty), is having trouble with his love life. His girlfriend is unhappy with his general attitude towards life, and the uncertainty of their future, and wants to break up. What if you get a second chance in such circumstances? The film is about how he handles this delicate situation,” he says. The film’s music has been composed by Dossmode and cinematography by Gomtesh Upadhye.
Kiran Raj’s short film comes at the sixth place, and runs on three important characters -- Rishab Shetty, Hariprriya, and a dog, Rumy. “The highlight of my film is that there are no dialogues throughout, and the actors have spoken just with their expressions,” Kiran Raj says. “The plot was prepared when I was working as an associate director for Rishab sir in Ricky. Initially, it was planned only as a short film with Rishab Shetty and Rakshit Shetty in the lead. Later, after Hariprriya listened to the script, she showed interest to be a part of the project. This is how she came on board. When the idea of Katha Sangama was established, Rishab asked me to direct it,” he adds, revealing that Rishab plays a beggar in the film, which was shot at Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi. The film has music by Nobil Paul and cinematography by Venkatesh Anguraj. Rithwik Rao has handled the editing.
Two people with opposing ideologies get stuck in a room. What happens over the next half an hour between them and how they discover each other’s perspectives forms the crux of this film, written and directed by Rahul P K. The film features Balaji Manohar, who has also worked on the additional screenplay. It also includes Pramod Shetty, Ram Manjonath, Shree Harsha Malaya and Prasad. Cinematography has been handled by Sandeep PS, while music composer is Udith Haritas, and Vinayak Guhanarayan has taken charge of editing.
Jamdangni Manoj has directed a period drama set in the 1900s during the struggle for Independence in the Mysore province. “This short story is about a barber who has lost his family and friends at the hands of an officer, Kaalappa, who is an Indian working for the British. Kaalappa visits the barbershop for a shave. What happens when the barber meets Kaalappa forms the rest of the story,” he says. Jamadagni Manoj is an IT engineer in Bengaluru, and is making his debut as a director with Katha Sangama. He has attended a scriptwriting workshop in San Francisco, USA. The film stars Avinash and Hari Samasthi, has music by Girish Hothur. Ranganath CM and Abhishek M have handled the camerawork and editing, respectively.
Director Jai Shankar works in an IT company and works on short films on weekends. “Filmmaking is my alter profession,” he says. His story is about a woman immigrant from north Karnataka and her encounter with the Bangalore city. It’s told through a realistic style of filmmaking. “The cameras were hidden for many shots, and voyeuristic footages have been used in the film. All the actors are non-professional artistes. The lead actress, Paravva, is a farm worker in a village in Hubli. The other two actors -- Beeresh and Raghavendra -- work in a packing and moving firm, and Ola cabs, respectively. Though the story happens in Bengaluru, the characters speak in a dialect of north Karnataka,” the director explains. The film’s music by Vasuki Vaibhav and Saurav Prateek Sanyal has handled the cinematography and Chandan M taken charge of editing.