Shruti Naidu's first production, 'Premier Padmini', received appreciation from audiences and critics alike.

Making content-driven films still a risk in Kannada Actor-producer Shruti Naidu intv
Flix Interview Saturday, June 01, 2019 - 11:17

From being a television star to turning into a producer who received acclaim for her very first film, Shruti Naidu has undeniably come a long way. The actor-turned-producer’s debut movie Premier Padmini starring Jaggesh, Madhoo and Sudharani has been received well by both audiences and critics. Currently basking in the appreciation that her flick has been receiving, Shruti gets candid with TNM about her journey in showbiz, content-driven cinema in the Kannada industry and more.

Premier Padmini is my very first production, so obviously I was a little scared about how people would take it. The movie’s got good reviews from both the press and the audience. Even today, I got a message from someone who said that they took their grandma for the film and that it’s been a long time since she’s gone to a movie hall and she did it only for my film. I felt really happy,” smiles Shruti, while soaking in all the love that her debut film has been garnering. The best compliment she’s received is from people who praised her for having the guts to do such a project.

With the success of her first production, Shruti reveals that she’s got a bit of confidence and wants to create great content for Kannada audiences. “If we provide good content, people will watch it. I want to make good, content-based cinema that every generation will watch. We have two more films in the pipeline – one is being directed by Ramesh, the director of Premier Padmini and the other is being directed by me,” she shares.

Many films are now being made in Sandalwood, valuing script over stardom. However, though Shruti is appreciative of the new wave, she admits that it’s risky.

“The producers who are doing content-oriented films are taking a route that’s not safe. We all know that if we make good commercial cinema, we get satellite and overseas rights, and yet some of us are choosing to make content-driven cinema even though we know we’re losing all those benefits. We’re taking a risk with the hope that someday, even these kind of films will get such a market,” says the hopeful and passionate producer.

Ask her if being one of the very few women producers in the male-dominated field adds to the pressure and she instantly says, “I don’t think it matters. I’ve never had a difficult experience because of my gender. I’ve got the same respect and love from people. I think it’s got to do with the talent and knowledge that one possesses. If someone wants to get associated with you, they will if they feel you’re good enough and are confident in what you’re doing. Gender doesn’t matter at all.”

The artiste, who’s acted for over 20 years and has graced television in several serials like Preethi Illadha Mele, Maneyondu Mooru Bagilu, Kavaludaari and Sharapanjara, reveals that she doesn’t really have the urge to get back on screen right now. “I’m very bad at multi-tasking! I love to do one thing at a time. I’m very happy doing production and now that I’m turning director, I need to fully focus on the story and making of the movie,” she says.

With several years of experience on TV, what has her journey on the small screen taught her? “Television becomes monotonous after a point. Any kind of role you do, you do it for 1000 episodes. I wanted to break that and since I was inclined towards the camera, I used to get fascinated by seeing the directors at work. That inspired me to get behind the camera and gave me the kick I desired as I found it more interesting than acting.”

To survive in the industry, one needs a lot of perseverance, believes the multi-talented Shruti. “It takes a lot of time, energy and patience to reach wherever you want to reach,” says the producer, who’s first directorial is going to be a commercial flick. “It’s not for a class of or niche audience. I want it to reach everybody, especially the college-going generation,” she signs off.

Ikyatha Yerasala is a Bengaluru-based journalist who’s also a movie, pun and anti-patriarchy enthusiast.

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