An interview with M.S. Sathyu, film directorAn interview with M.S. Sathyu, film directorAn interview with M.S. Sathyu, film director

6:39 PM, Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Mangalore : M.S. Sathyu (80), a noted film director from Mysore, is well known for 2 films only, “Garm Hawa” (Hot air) in Hindi with Balraj Sahni and “Bara” (Drought) in Kannada with Anant Nag as his heroes. After many years, he has  made “Ijjodu” (a name taken from V.K.Gokak’s novel of over 700 pages), in Kannada for Reliance Entertainment Co, with Devadasi system (on its way out even in Saundatti, Goa and Pandharapur ).
Sathyu is a stage designer, art director and film director, living in Mysore, was born on 6th July, 1930. Mega Media met him on July 22 for an interview at the Patrika Bhavan in connection with the release of  “Ijjodu” based on Devadasi age-old system, and funded by a corporate body for the first time.

Q: what made you take up this latest Kannada film to hit the screen?

MSS: A corporate entertainment company funded the film. It is based on Karnataka’s Devadasi system built around Yellamma of Soundatti and Mysore. There is a motive in this picture, and it is different from the other “run of the mill” productions. There is no dubbing after the shooting schedules, but spot recording was done. Meera Jasmin, a Malayalee star, did her own dubbing.

Q: Why such a long period to make the film?

MSS: It is done after 12 years. I was busy doing documentaries and theatre plays as director. I have directed 9 films so far and they are issue – based (like’Bara’) and commercial. They are not Art films as such. I have directed 25 documentaries, some Telefilms and other (feature) films.

Q: Something on “Garm Hawa” that catapulted you to fame….?

MSS: Ah yes, but it is not based on Partition of the Indian sub-continent into India and parts of Pakistan. Its focus is on Muslims of Uttar Pradesh, the impact of it was such that in 1975. I was honoured by the President as a Padma Shri.

Q: What is the present scenario in the film world?

MSS: During this decade, we see films are loud, emotions unreal and the quality is not high. I prefer realistic acting (as in Kerala). The characters are important, technology should not take away the power of the film. I want real characters, looking natural. It is a thin line that divides real from the unreal.

Q: How is ‘Ijjodu’ then?

MSS: It will entertain the audience for 90 minutes with discriminating information. It has no back side music for song and dance anywhere.

Q: How many theatres will show this latest film of yours?

MSS: Just two (2) prints are released! One print is for the state Awards. The new trendy films must not take over the power of a film, I feel. My film has many languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarathi, all through a single film that represents India and her traditions

Q: Your opinion on Mangalore?

MSS: It has grown bigger, I know it is a fine city on the coast. I want it to grow further and have an attractive future. It’s a mini – India now.

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