The ‘K.G.F.’ franchise and ‘Kantara’ are two projects that have emerged as the breakout films on the Indian cinematic landscape.
‘K.G.F. Chapter 1’, which was released in 2018, opened up a new market for films from down south, more so for films from Karnataka. The state had earlier delivered top-rated films from directors such as Girish Kasaravalli, it was ‘K.G.F.’ that re-introduced Kannada cinema to a new generation of cinema goers and also tasted widespread commercial success.
‘Kantara’ which was released earlier this year in September, furthered the pan-India grip of Kannada cinema. While at surface level, these stories may look like breakout successes, scratching the surface a bit will reveal that the reason behind the success of these stories are their rootedness, a philosophy that the makers of both these movies, Hombale Films, stand by.
Vijay Kiragandur and Chaluve Gowda, the founders of Hombale films have “always prioritised the content” over anything, they told IANS.
“For a story to go truly global, it is imperative for it to stay rooted, be honest with the audience,” they shared.
“The story, the script and the characters — these are the foundations of any film and once you get that right, everything follows and everything falls in place. But if the script is not strong, the foundation is weak then the whole film falters,” Chaluve said.
While film production may be about investing money and taking up right choices, it is also about the correct investment of time. “Our major investment is in the form of time and we are very generous with investing time at the scripting level compared to the filming,” Vijay expressed.
Obviously, the more you sweat during practice, the less you bleed during the war.
While the production house has clocked a decade in film business, like everyone it too faced the heat from the lockdown induced by the pandemic, it was a difficult phase because majority of their films are suited for theatres and experience which can’t be replicated on OTT platforms.
The makers noted: “Covid-19 has changed a lot of things for the film industry, it has catalysed the unification of Indian cinema because during lockdown, people were watching films from across regional film industries of India on OTT platforms.
“Storytellers will have to deliver something new to the audience. Lethargy and laziness won’t work in the film business now,” they added.
As Walter White said in ‘Breaking Bad’, they “Are Goddamn Right!” because Covid-19 has beaten redundancy to the pulp and discarded it into the dumpster.
Sharing an update on the status of their most anticipated film ‘Salaar’, the producers said: “80-85 per cent of ‘Salaar’ has been completed, only the climax remains to be shot. We had already announced the release date of September 28, 2023 and we are sure that we will release the film on time.”
Vijay believes cinema will always be a force of change: “It serves as a powerful medium through which social messages can be delivered in an effective manner.
“Take for instance ‘Kantara’, the ‘Buta Kola’ sequence is something that now everyone in the world knows about. We want to convey a good message, be it cultural or traditional and also contribute to the economy through stories.”
As for the projects in the pipeline, the makers have a loaded slate in the form of ‘Dhoomam’ – which features Fahadh Faasil and Aparna Balamurali, they have ‘Raghu Thatha’ in Tamil starring Keerthy Suresh, ‘Bagheera’ written by ‘K.G.F.’ helmer Prashanth Neel, and also ‘Tyson’ with Prithviraj Sukumaran.