“Kannada audiences are some of the best in the country,” says Girish while talking about his directorial debut ‘Ondh Kathe Hella’
Ever since the release of the trailer of the film, “Ondh Kathe Hella,” fans have been bustling around, excited about the social media sensation it has become. Fortunately, we got a chance to interview the director of the film, Girish G, and this what he shared with us about his upcoming film.
Sharath Byloli: The trailer of the film has become a huge hit and even the songs are getting a really great response. As a new team entering the industry for the first time, did you expect this kind of feedback?
Girish: No, definitely not, because as a team with no star cast and no famous actors or technicians, you know how difficult it is to be able to reach the audience. One can achieve this to a certain extent, but beyond that it’s really difficult. What our trailer has achieved so far is really more than what we expected and aimed for, and as a team we are all really joyous about it.
S.B: As a storyteller/filmmaker, what message do you want to impart through your film?
G: There is nothing as such that we want communicate through it. It is purely for the purpose of entertainment. Just imagine yourself with your friends or cousins sitting together and sharing horror stories, and one after the other, each one will come up the stories they know, and even without your knowledge amidst those scary moments you’ll be enjoying it-that experience is what we want to pass on. I’m pretty sure that the audience will be glued to the screen for the complete duration of the film.
S.B: What type of Horror film is “Ondu Kathe Hella”?
G: As you know, it is a horror anthology film with five different sub-stories. There is an audience for each kind of horror film-some like it classy, and some prefer it gory, and we have tried to work with different type of genres for the different type of stories, which I believe will satisfy everyone’s interests.
S.B: Are all these sub-stories interlinked?
G: (Laughs) You’ll have to wait for the movie to be released in the theatre to know that.
S.B: You are a debutant director-did you plan on making an anthology genre of films long back, or was it a recent idea?
G: Actually, we had been to a party where started talking about ghosts, and that turned into each of us telling their own stories and this went on for the whole night till the next morning-that is when I felt that if this could keep us interested for an entire night, then it would definitely capture the attention of an audience for three hours. Following that, almost 15 stories were written and the best ones were selected.
S.B: As a director, how would you describe your journey into the industry?
G: For this, first I have to thank all my producers-I’m a mechanical engineer and was working for Mahindra Aerospace as a design engineer and during that time itself, I had done 2 short films. But I was only one among many. We were in search of producers, and thought of organising a crowdfunding for this film and started doing presentations for the producers. Till now almost 98 presentations have been given and we have 24 producers on board with us who believed in us and our work. My gratitude for their help will never cease.
S.B: What can the audience expect from you film?
G: This film will definitely be a new experience to everyone-that’s a promise we’ve made from our side. Everyone loves the experience of grandparents or other adults telling stories right? You’ll get the same feeling in the theatre, with this movie. Before we sent it to the censor board, we actually did a showing to about 70 people who didn’t know the story, and almost 80% them loved the film. Even the censor board saw the film, appreciated us and gave us U/A certification, even though horror films get only A certification. They wanted this film reach a larger audience and thus gave it a little push on the journey ahead.
S.B: Your film is the first South Indian horror anthology film-did you know that even before starting its production?
G: Yes, we knew it. There were a few rumours telling us that there is a Tamil film that has 3 stories combined, but an actual horror anthology should have a minimum of 5 stories. So yes, our film is the first one in that genre.
S.B: What is your word of advice for all the budding directors who are dreaming of stepping into the industry?
G: (Laughs) I’m still a long way away from giving advice to anyone, but the one thing you need to learn is to have patience, believe in your work and have the courage to make it a reality.
S.B: How did you manage to bring together your whole crew?
G: We wanted some technicians who had already made their mark in the industry to work for our project, but you know me-being a debutant director, it is very difficult as I myself am in the process of learning how cinema works. So we had a few members from the time we did short films, like our art director and a few actors-even I’ve started as an actor and have featured in one of the five stories in the film.
S.B: Do you have any final words for your audience? And a reason why you want them to watch the movie?
G: Kannada audiences are some of the best in the country, as they support new ideas and talents more than the other industry people, but the one problem here is that they wait for one week for the film review or for the film to make some noise. However, for films like ours, there is a time-window of only one week and theatres will change it up if they don’t get a proper response in the first week. So it is my request to the people who have liked the trailer and the songs-you’ll definitely like the film also, so please do go and watch it in the first week itself. Hope you have a good time!