How Swaroop Kanchi got Bengaloored
Swaroop Kanchi is the young filmmaker who has produced and directed his first Indian-English film Bengaloored.
He joins the distinguished list of filmmakers from Bangalore who have made films in English films earlier like Mahesh Dattani (Mango Souffle, Dance Like a Man and Morning Raaga) and Prakash Belawadi who made the national award winning Stumble.
Bengaloored film is now in the post production stage.
So what is the curiously-titled film all about? R G Vijayasarathy finds out.
How did you get into films?
I was born in Bangalore and had a great passion for film making. I was a student of design and finished my studies in Bangalore and then in Delhi.
Though I have made many films on issues like HIV/AIDS, compulsory education for children, spiritualism, etc, I wanted to make full length feature films for the world market.
I have made many small budget films for the world market like Deja vu, The end. I also made films in Hong Kong like Acid and Hong Kong Dreaming. These films got me a lot of recognition. But I wanted to work with Indian stories, Indian people and about the culture I am comfortable with. Bengaloored is my first attempt in that direction.
Tell us something about Bengaloored?
Bengaloored is an Indian-English feature film set in Bengaluru . I am the co-producer with my friend Pradeep Raju. I have picked known artists who can speak English.
Harish Raj who has already worked in many Kannada films with renowned filmmakers like Girish Kasaravalli is playing the protagonist.
Meghana who was born and brought up in USA before coming here to work in films, plays the female lead. Many talented artists like Sreenivasa Prabhu, Lakshmi Chandrashekhar and Vino have also worked in the film. I also play a small role!
The major highlight of the film is the music by famous musician Vasu Dixit, (brother of Raghu Dixit).
The film is shot entirely in Bengaluru.
Image: Swaroop Kanchi
'Bengaluru was once referred to as Pensioners' Paradise'
What prompted you to make a film in Bengaluru?
I had migrated to Los Angeles and Hong Kong for work and also to involve myself in making films. I have been making films for the past eight years.
I was also visiting Bengaluru occasionally, and after each visit, I found the city changed. Old iconic structures have made way to new structures. The Vataaras (The cluster of closely attached middle and lower middle class houses built in one big site) made way to malls and business establishments. Bengaluru has now become a technology driven city and I have heard many elderly people getting nostalgic about the city which was once referred to as Pensioners' Paradise. Even the attitude of the people living in city for many yeas has changed.
I had a big circle of friends during my school and college days in the city, but later when I started visiting the city from abroad, I found that most of them had disappeared. This set me into thinking about the city and that is how Bengaloored happened.
Image: A scene from Bengaloored
'My personal experiences are part of the script'
Have you added your own personal experiences to the story?
I cannot deny that my personal experiences are part of the script. The story of Bengaloored revolves around a young author who returns to Bengaluru after ten years.
He wants to write a fitting climax to his book and comes to his native place to get inspiration. When he returns to the city after having lived abroad for many years, he rediscovers the city of his childhood.
He also wants to find his love in the city. He finds that his old house is on the verge of collapse. He is bogged down by some personal problems that relates to his family and friends. He struggles, nevertheless to recreate a new life in bits and pieces.
How the author finds solace in the city of his birth and how he finds his love forms the main part of the story.
Image: A scene from Bengaloored