Rishab Shetty on Kantara: Local cinema is the new global | The Financial Express

Rishab Shetty on Kantara: Local cinema is the new global

Rishab Shetty, director, and the lead actor in Kantara, speaks to financialexpress.com about how he is absorbing the love and success that the film is receiving, how regional cinema is a way forward, the Kannada industry, and more.

Rishab Shetty on Kantara: Local cinema is the new global
Rishab Shetty in Kantara

Kantara (Mystical Forest) has set the Indian box office on fire. Kantara is unique. Unlike KGF, Baahubali, and the recent Ponniyin Selvan, which were marketed and promoted as pan-Indian films, Kantara was essentially promoted as a Kannada film. However, the game changed after it premiered in multiple cities outside Karnataka.The film has now been dubbed in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi.

Rishab Shetty, director, and the lead actor in Kantara, speaks to financialexpress.com about how he is absorbing the love and success that the film is receiving, how regional cinema is a way forward, the Kannada industry, and more. Excerpts from the interview:

How does it feel to get so much love and appreciation from the audience and also the critics for your work?

I am really happy to see that people have appreciated our work. Our producer trusted us and it feels great to see that the film is earning well at the box office.

Where did the story of Kantara come to you? How did you begin working on it thereafter?

Last year on April 27, I got the idea to make Kantara and I started working on it. The people shown in the film, the legendary stories, and the folklore is something I have grown up seeing and listening to. I always wanted to show my culture and traditions to the world. The more rooted a story, the more universal it can become. It was all organic.

Do you feel going more regional is the way forward? People want to know such stories?

It is not just regional cinema that’s working. We cannot decide what will work and we should explore all the genres. However, I also feel that local cinema is the new Global. Regional cinema is helping our young generation to know about our traditions, and culture in a better way. There has to be a balance between commercial cinema, rooted stories, action films, fiction, and more.

Kantara highlights caste politics. Were you extra careful about not hurting sentiments while showing certain parts of the story?

I have grown up watching what I have shown in the film. I didn’t want to hurt anyone and so I tried to subtly portray. I am the witness and I have just shown the reality in Kantara.

How do you see Kannada cinema growing and reaching people all across the globe?

It’s the best time for the film industry. After the success of Kantara, many new Kannada filmmakers will get a push to explore that talent. The Kannada film industry has hugely contributed to the Hindi film industry in the past as well. I feel proud to see that we are getting back to doing that.

Are we going to have part 2 of Kantara?

Let’s see.

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First published on: 03-11-2022 at 10:00 IST