Suman Kittur has grown to be the best. She is in fact refulgent in her profession. She hasn’t shot to fame in a day but has ameliorated day by day to taste the pinch of success as she says. She has had her taste of bitterness, but also chose to overcome it and do something better for herself and the society. Today she has created an identity for herself and has been an inspiration to many other girls/women out there.
People were stunned to know the fact that a woman had directed a film that had a story revolving around the underworld. Director Suman Kittur made an invigorating change in the kannada film industry and proved that a movie can still win the audience without the usual beat around the bush ideas.
Edegaarike-The Guts, has been the only Indian film to be selected for the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival. Get to know her journey as she shares her experience of Film making.
How does it feel to have made a successful film that is also a critics’ delight?
I am completely overwhelmed. It took a long while to sink in. But since its release, I have been sleeping longer and sounder! (Smiles)
How were your childhood days? Was it influential for what you are today?
Born and brought up in a small town near Mysore, I was not born with a silver spoon. We faced immense poverty in childhood. By stating Poverty here I do not mean the basic amenities like food or shelter but instead had poverty to witness developing things, poverty to hear good inspirational thought or even read good books. I lived in a society where girls were considered to be huge responsibilities (rather a burden) to the parents and hence marrying them off was the only solution. So child marriage was in practice extensively. I had to struggle a lot to not get into it. I remember requesting my father like 10 to 15 times a day not to get me married, since I didn’t have the courage to protest in a stubborn way.
What made someone as young as you think of a subject with so much depth?
I guess it’s all about what you imbibe in life – all the influences, the people, the books, incidents, experiences good and bad – everything!
You have always turned very Sensitive topics into a film. How difficult is it to make a novel based movie?
Right from Aa Dinagalu to Edegarike I have always tried to engage myself in making movies that are close to real life incidents. Such kind of scripts give me a challenging work environment and for all the good reasons I simply like to challenge my own abilities. I would say it is not an easy task because of the fact that we would be making a movie that the audiences are quite familiar with. Adding the twists and turns, the emotions and creating the unexpected aspect is what makes us work harder and know the script even better. Only then will we be able to deliver a feel good movie. When we are directing a real life story we need to make sure that the justice is done to the writing (book) and the occurrence and for this reason we have a very limited yet challenging boundary. There is no scope for forceful addition of money-making essentials like dance and fights just for the sake of it.
Let’s hear what do you have to say about film making?
Cinema is my life. I have given away myself for the sake of cinema. If you need to be in the cinema then it would demand two things from you; tremendous energy and a huge patience. You never know what it can demand from you. One has to be ready to give it your entire life provided you’re serious about film making. Direction is not a shift job or a desk work. It is a day and night work. I can easily compare cinema to a baby. We can’t tell the baby to sleep or be awake at the expediency of the mother. Similarly cinema can demand anything at anytime. As a director one needs to be on his toes if he or she is into directing.
How challenging is direction for women?
Direction hmm… is quite difficult for ladies keeping in mind their physical strength and the amount of work that direction demands. The physical structure of women which makes her tired after a certain time may be one of the reasons why there are very few women directors in the film industry. The gut feeling matters a lot here. A huge responsibility of cosseting in a lot of things that we are not even aware of is a great task for us. Presence of mind, speed of thoughts, firm and quick decisions; everything matters here. Amidst taking care of our house we will have to be updated with the latest development in technology, change in the script if required, and dealing with different kind of people who have different mindset in the working environment etc. The greater part of the challenge is when you have to market the movie.
Have you faced gender biased problems in this field?
I would want to say a no, but I am not allowed to because I have personally faced such situations. Huh..!! It’s a different ball game altogether. Certain people are skeptical in giving us a theatre to release a movie for the fact that a woman has directed it. I regret to tell this but still our society is bound by the thought that a woman cannot make anything nearer to perfection. Marketing the movie is where you find the gender biased environment.
What do you have to say to other young women out there who are ready to put on a director’s cap?
If you are serious about this field then go ahead and fulfill your dreams. Give it a good thought before you get into it and once you’re in never regret the decision of getting into it. The cinema field, particularly Direction is not a 10 to 6 job and you would have to give it your entire time but have to handle things with patience. All the best to everyone who aspire to dream big.