In his autobiography titled Hulimavina Mara (Sour Mango Tree),
Kannada writer P Lankesh speaks briefly about his family - his wife, two
daughters and a son. Of the three, his second daughter Kavitha, was the most
sensitive and creative.
Kavitha Lankesh has proved her father right. The Bangalore-based
documentary filmmaker is all set to release her first feature film
Deviri in early January. Based on her father's work, Akka,
(Sister), Deviri has Nandita Das and Manjunath in the lead roles.
This 135-minute film delves into the harsh realities of human life as seen
through the eyes of a street child.
The effort, according to Kavitha, is to bring back the 1970s renaissance
spirit. "My father blazed a new trail in the 70s with a series of films
which notdevi only evoked good response from the audience but also set a
standard for a low-budget, quality movies. As the decade tapered off, so did
the movement that had reached its zenith."
Now, Kavitha, a second-generation child, is set to pick up from where her
father left off. "I am pretty sure the film industry is veering towards good
cinema once more. Films of substance will be the 'in' thing." We hope she is
About her project that she so lovingly did along with friend Bharathi
Gowda, she says, "I am very happy with the output. I don't know how the
people will receive it, but I hope people will be touched by it and critics
will encourage such film-makers."
She's very happy that the entire crew - from the dusky beauty Nandita Das
who pored over the faxed copies of the script at her Delhi residence, to the
street urchin Manjunath - worked in absolute tandem with each other as this
helped her finish the project in record time.
What did her father, a trenchant critic and an objective purveyor of
things, have to say about Kavitha's celluloid venture? " All that he said
was it has come out well." That maybe praise enough coming from such a great
Another feather in Kavitha's cap was directing Stree Shakti, a
documentary on six well-known women from various walks of life which
explored the power of womanhood. She also wrote the dialogues, composed the
songs and provided the music for Deviri.
Amidst the crazy shooting schedule of Deviri, Kavitha was caught
unawares by stage personality Prakash Belawadi. He took her Marquezian novel
'Mussanjeya Katha Prasanga' (Twilight
Narrative) to adapt it into a tele-serial for an upcoming channel. "I have
also bagged a contract from a TV channel to do a series of films on various
stages of love - right from the love-at-first-sight experience to how love
is perceived when one reaches middle age. Nothing is
finalised yet; the project is still in its infancy." Things are definitely
looking good for this woman of substance. She has the world at her feet.
Deviri, is expected to hit screens in the second week of the new
millennium. Look out for it.