‘Playing Kempegowda, a visionary, is incredibly exciting’

...says Dhananjaya as he discusses the meticulous preparation that goes into historical projects, collaborating with veteran director Nagabharana on Nadaprabhu Kempegowda
‘Playing Kempegowda, a visionary, is incredibly exciting’
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Daali Dhananjaya, fresh off the success of Kotee, is all set to portray Kempegowda, in a role that promises to be as iconic as the historical figure himself. Titled Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, this period drama will be directed by Dr TS Nagabharana, a seasoned director known for his films like Bangarada Jinke, Janumada Jodi, and Kallarali Hoovagi. He is set to fulfil a long-cherished dream of directing this historical project, aiming to bring the legacy of Kempegowda to life to the big screen.

The excitement surrounding this project has reached new heights with the release of the first look of Dhananjaya in his grand avatar as the founder of Bangalore. Speaking to CE, Dhananjaya, who is excited about playing such a historical figure, shares, “I am thrilled to be the face of Kempegowda.

Many dream of this role, but few get the opportunity to do so; I am fortunate to be one of them. This is Nagabharana’s dream project. We have been discussing it for years, and I took it seriously over the last year, where I worked hard on it. Playing Kempegowda, a visionary, is incredibly exciting. It’s not just luck to get such a project; it requires a lot of preparation.”

Dhananjaya, an avid reader who loves learning about great personalities, views Kempegowda as a visionary leader who built Bengaluru. “Through my discussions with Nagabharana, I learned that Kempegowda was also a great warrior who accomplished many significant works,” he said.

Currently, the team is in the preparation phase and plans to begin the project once Dhananjaya completes his current commitments. The Kotee actor is juggling shooting for Rohit Padaki’s Uttarakanda, which is aiming for a December release, and director Shankar Guru’s Anna from Mexico.

He has also agreed to another historical project, Halagali, set in the British period, and going by his schedule, he plans to start with Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, in January 2025. “These projects require extensive preparation, and I am ready for the challenge,” he added.

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, which has the tagline “Bengaluru Karanika (Man Behind Bengaluru), will be produced under the Isvara Entertainment and Daali Pictures banners. The film will be produced by MS Shivrudrappa and Shubham Gundala.

The film’s technical team includes the likes of music composer Vasuki Vaibhav, cinematographer Advaitha Gurumurthy, costume designer Nagini Bharana, and art director Shasidhara Adapa. The project is managed by Pannaga Bharana, who will serve as the executive producer.

Explaining why he chose to work with Nagabharana, Dhananjaya referred to a Kannada proverb that translates to “old roots, new shoots,” signifying the idea of building on established foundations while nurturing new growth. “Nagabharana has done extensive research on the project and incorporated inputs from historians to ensure authenticity. While Nagabharana is a veteran himself, he is bringing together a team of young talents, which is very promising,” Dhananjaya signs off.

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