A dream that he nurtured for years is finally becoming a reality for NRI software engineer, Prasiddh, who is making his directorial debut with Ratnamanjarii. Without formal training in filmmaking or working under any filmmaker, a standard practise to learn the art of filmmaking, Prasiddh has churned out the Kannada film which has newcomers Raj Charan and Akhila Prakash playing the leads.
“I had good knowledge in graphics and multimedia along with storyboard which were the skills that I had acquired from the software industry that came in handy for me in this new journey,” Prasiddh begins. Though he did not work under any director, it did stop him from idolising a filmmaker, something like Ekalavya did in the Hindu mythology The Mahabharatha.
Prasiddh says, “I am a big fan of KV Raju sir. I consider him as my ‘manasa guru’ and learnt so much from watching his movies. I want to make films like him someday,”
The debutant says that his commitment to family and work kept him away from pursuing his dreams. “I was in the IT for 17 years and always wanted work in the film industry. But being the elder son in the family, I could not shy away from responsibilities. And the full-time job did not let me dedicate time to pursue my dream,” he claims.
So, when did the thought of making movies came to mind? “I had narrated a story to Hamsalekha sir many years ago. He was impressed by my story and had positive feedback, asking me to do a film with Shivaraj Kumar. I believe he would have heard over 1000s of stories and such a person appreciating my story gave me huge confidence,” he adds.
Ratnamanjarii is a murder mystery thriller, but not a horror film. “The movie touches upon the topics like the God, supernatural power and intelligence,” Prasiddh claims. 40 per cent of the movie is set in the US and remaining in the Coorg. He says, “We have seen many movies showcasing coastal and Malnad cultures and the lifestyles of the people,”
On asking why he cast newcomers in the leads, the director said that he had two reasons. “Firstly, if we bring established names, there is a time bound to complete the project. In the case of newcomers, there will be no date issues and they can dedicate all the time for the film. Secondly, the story demanded fresh faces,” he concludes.
The Kannada film is releasing on May 17.