Renowned filmmaker and actor, Rishab Shetty, engaged in an enlightening conversation with the media during the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa today. Serving as a representative of the vibrant Kannada film industry, Shetty discussed his widely acclaimed creation, "Kantara," a film where he wears multiple hats as the director, actor, and writer. Notably, "Kantara" is among the three Indian films vying for the esteemed Golden Peacock award at IFFI 54, a testament to its exceptional quality.
A 150-minute Kannada masterpiece, "Kantara," has captivated audiences and critics alike since its release last year. The film, a mesmerizing homage to culture and folklore, artfully explores the intricate and dynamic interplay between humanity and nature through the enchanting mediums of dance and emotion.
Shetty remarked, “The audience connected with Kantara because it is a story rooted in the culture of Bharat. The audience took the film to where it is today, truly making it their own.” Emphasizing its authenticity, "Kantara" revitalizes the traditional Kola dance and its performing community. Shetty emphasized his ongoing connection with the community, stating, “I belong to this tradition, I believe in this ritual, and I worship this God. We took care that we did not hurt anybody’s emotion and made sure that there was no damage to the culture or community.”
Crediting the success of "Kantara" to faith, Shetty urged the importance of self-belief in producing meaningful work. He advocated for a focus on the craft itself rather than the pursuit of success.
Discussing the challenges faced by Kannada cinema, Shetty highlighted the reluctance of OTT platforms to embrace Kannada films, resulting in significant losses for the industry. He appealed for greater exposure and recognition for Kannada cinema, emphasizing the global acceptance of quality content across linguistic boundaries.
Expressing his second-time participation in IFFI, Shetty underscored the significance of film festivals as spaces for watching films and learning. He viewed festivals like IFFI as an extended family and urged the recognition of small films on such platforms. Shetty recently announced the eagerly awaited prequel to "Kantara," with the poster released yesterday, revealing the original intent of a two-part narrative. When asked about his true passion for directing, writing, and acting, Shetty asserted, “Direction is my first love,” emphasizing his reliance on life experiences and personal connections to infuse authenticity into his films.