Srujan Lokesh is facing a herculean task ahead of the release of Ellide Illi Tanaka on October 11. The actor, who is also the producer of the film, is now focusing on the latter role.
“With more than half a dozen films in Kannada and other language running all over Karnataka, trying to get my share of theatres has kept me on my toes,” says Srujan.
The filmmaker, who has established the banner Lokesh Productions with reality shows and teleserials, is coming out with the first feature film under the banner. It also marks the directorial debut of Tejaswi.
Srujan is taking forward the legacy of his grandfather (Subbaiah Naidu) and father (Lokesh), who have made a mark as actor, director, and producer.
However, the fact that he is following in their footsteps is just a coincidence, he says.
“I realised it just after the film’s muhurath, when they mentioned to me that our family has been into entertainment for three generations now. I feel proud, and would want to take this forward, as long as it lasts,” says the filmmaker, who also hints at directing a film soon.
“I have gained experience in directing reality shows. Ellide Illi Tanaka got me involved as a director too, and along with Tejaswi, I tried my skills behind the camera. I will make use of all this experience for my directorial debut,” he says.
Acting is in the blood for Srujan, with his entire family being a part of the entertainment industry. However, his choice of films and genre is different from the kind of films done by his father, which were based on novels and delved into message-oriented subjects.
“I still wait for the kind of scripts that my father got. However, the face of the entertainment industry has changed, and I am just catering to what the audience wants from me, which is comedy,” says Srujan, adding, “The humour quotient that I am usually appreciated for has come to me from my mother (Girija Lokesh). She is one of the most hilarious persons that people come across, and her sense of humour is 10 times more than mine.”
Having worked in more than 25 films — Srujan has not kept a count — working under his home banner brings a different kind of satisfaction and learning lessons, he says.
“Cinema making is all about preparation and being well-versed with the project. When creativity gets tied with business, it becomes a different ball game,” he says.
The title of the film was taken from one of the popular songs that featured his father. “The track, Elli de Illi Tanaka, was a pathos-filled number. However, the same line gets a romantic twist in our film,” says Srujan, mentioning that he insisted on this particular title.
“I was looking for a name that has relevance to my production house. There was a lot of debate when I decided to title it, Ellide Illi Tanaka. People thought it was old-fashioned. But I was confident that it will work, and it did. We have done a decent job, and I am confident that the audiences will walk out of theatres with a smile on their faces. I will now wait for the result, which will be out on Friday, after the first day, first show,” he signs off.