dushyanth: Dushyanth Sridhar directs a Sanskrit film based on Sakuntalam by Kalidasa | Tamil movie news

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Famous Indian speaker and writer Dushyanth Sridhar will now take on the director role with Sakuntalam. What’s interesting is that Dushyanth will be the first to present Kalidasa’s magnum opus, Abhijñana Sakuntala, in its original language, Sanskrit. Even though there is no specific industry for Sanskrit cinema, a few films have already been made in this ancient language. And now, Sakuntalam will be the tenth film made in Sanskrit.

Speaking of putting himself in the director’s shoes, Dushyanth says the visual medium is reaching a wider population. “The understanding and vision I have of this subject made me turn to cinema. Even though I’m a beginner, I still accepted this because I like to bring my vision to visual media, ”says Dushyanth.

But why Sakuntalam? He says: “Two reasons – Sanskrit and the subject. Sanskrit is one of the many languages ​​spoken in India. While other languages ​​like Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi have multiple followers, the only ancient language less spoken is Sanskrit. I felt I had to do something about this language. I wouldn’t say it is overlooked, but it is not represented enough in many forms. But being a beginner and making a film in Sanskrit, I wanted to embark on a project as big as Sakuntalam. The epic of Kalidasa has been performed in other languages, including Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, but not Sanskrit. It is as if silappatikaram (Tamil) is done in Greek, Latin and Mandarin, but not in Tamil. This will therefore be the first time that the epic will be produced in its original language. Moreover, it is one of the best literary works.

While Dushyanth says directing the film was not a challenge, he had other struggles. “Although I have read the work since my childhood, the real task was to adapt this gigantic work by Kalidasa for the big screen. Anything written in play format cannot be made into the cinema. So I had to write a new screenplay, keeping today’s audience in mind, ”he says.

The film stars newcomers Payal Shetty and Shubham Sahrawat as well as established actors like Y Gee Mahendra, Mohanraman, TV Varadharajen and Sivakumar. “I found Payal’s profile thanks to a friend who is a director of photography. She also trained in Kathak. And I came across Shubham’s profile on social media. And then I had established artists for important roles. The real challenge here was to train them in Sanskrit. We had several sessions on Zoom for dialogues. They had to rote and send me voice notes. The workshop lasted over two months and then we started filming. With the exception of Shubham, for whom I dubbed, everyone else dubbed for themselves in Sanskrit.

The team filmed for the film between the first and second waves of COVID-19. “From getting the measurements to sewing the costumes, everything was coordinated over the phone. All the costumes are in khadi, which were then dyed in natural colors, ”he explains.

Rajkumar Bharati, the great-grandson of Subramania Bharathi, composed the music, and Sai Shravanam, the sound engineer for the Oscar-winning film Life Of Pi, is the music producer for the film. Audiography was performed by AS Lakshminarayan, a two-time national award winner, and editing was performed by B Lenin, a five-time national award winner.

The highlight of the film, however, is that 95% of the film is in Sanskrit. “And the remaining 5 percent is in another ancient language, Prakrit. Of course, we will have English subtitles. But we wanted to include other languages ​​like Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam in the film through songs and poetry. And the dance parts will have Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Mohiniyattam and Yaksha Gana performances. The ragas used in music are of the Carnatic and Hindustani styles. We also showed four prominent dynasties of ancient India – Chalukya, Pallava, Hoysala and Vijayanagar, ”explains Dushyanth.

With people watching content in different languages ​​today, Dushyanth is certain that there is an audience for Sanskrit films as well. “People here are watching Squid Game, which is in Korean! I am sure that they will also be open to watching films in Sanskrit ”, he said.

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