Kannada director Karthik Saragur says filmmaking is just like cooking

The filmmaker is now basking in the limelight of the just-released ‘Bheemasena Nalamaharaja’, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

After winning accolades for his children’s film, Jeerjimbe, Karthik Saragur is now basking in the limelight of his just-released film, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja, which was released on Amazon Prime Video on October 29.

Produced by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah, Rakhit Shetty and Hemanth Kumar, the film stars Aravind Iyer and Arohi Narayan.

Karthik, who has worked with the likes of Sunil Kumar Desai, TN Seetharam and Nagesh Kukunoor as a costume designer, talks to MetroPlus about Bheemasena…, direction and what filmmaking means to him.

Edited excerpts

What is the inspiration behind Bheemasena…?

The basic idea for the story came from director Simple Suni. I built the script around that. Food plays an important role in the film. I grew up in a family of hoteliers and cooks. We eat everyday and yet are never grateful to the people who cook for us. Similarly we sometimes don’t appreciate relationships and people either.

Just as food is the result of ingredients coming together in the right quantity, a film should have everything in the right proportion for a good story. Filmmaking is just like cooking — over cook it and the food gets burnt, if you do less it is undercooked.

Could you talk about the casting?

I believe that nothing can be made, not even cinema. All the people in the film happened to be a part of it. Once they were cast, it was up to each of them to identify with their character and portray it on screen.

You have made a 140-episode documentary series on Bengaluru…

It is one of the longest documentaries made on any city. Despite that we have covered just 40 % of the history of the city. The series was born out of my passion for the city. Bengaluru has a great history. Originally the documentary was created for a private channel, but now, we plan to edit it and make it accessible to all.

You have dabbled in all aspects of filmmaking. Does that help you work better or do you feel you should specialise in just one aspect of filmmaking?

A director has to know about all the aspects of filmmaking. It is like a woman keeping her home. She is aware of every need and takes on every responsibility. For me direction is not a job, but a way of life where you have to care for every aspect of the film and the people involved in it.

Jeerjimbe has done well. Did you expect this?

No, but what saddens me is why do we need to have a separate segment called children’s film. We don’t need such categorisation as 40 % cent of the film-watching population are children. We teach them a lot of things, but we do not educate them on how to watch and appreciate a film. We need to do that because children and stories go hand-in-hand.

Jeerjimbe was aimed to address the problem of the girl child. I wanted the film to reach every corner of the country. I am happy with the way Jeerjimbe has been accepted by the young and old alike.

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