There have been many choreographers in the industry who have donned the director's cap, but none have been talked about as much as Ganesh Acharya. Not just the viewers, but even Ganesh has come under the scrutiny of the film pundits. There is a belief that Ganesh might conquer those heights which many directors have taken years to attain.
We recently talked to him about his latest film Swami and his future plans. Here is the excerpt.
Where did this idea of becoming a director first dawn?
Five years ago, I used to live in a 'chawl' and since then the idea of making a film on this concept dawned on me. I felt that there is a Swami in every home, as I have shown in my film. Swami deals with relations which are bound by human emotions.
Why have you chosen such a subject for your first film as a director?
When I was young, I had seen a Swami in my home too and that was my father Gopi Krishna. He lived his entire life for the family. He had always taken care of us and made sure that we do not face any difficulty. When he died, I was just eight years old, but yet I have a lot of memories.
Is it based on the relationship of your mother and father?
Yes it is. The story revolves around the love between my parents. My mother is a Maharashtrian and my father as a South Indian, but I have shown just the opposite in my film. My mother used to put a tika on her forehead, but I have shown Juhi put a tika on Manoj's forehead. I have used many such real life incidents in my film.
Why Manoj and Juhi to portray your parents?
Manoj is an extremely hard working and simple actor. He fits into the image of my father and thus I choose him. I had seen Satya and Pinjar and I really like this quality if Manoj of fitting into all kinds of roles and doing full justice to it. As for Juhi, she is very much like my mother bubbly and jovial. I thought no one else would fit into the character as perfectly as Juhi does.
Why does the title say 'A Film Choreographed by Ganesh Acharya?
I want to retain my identity as a choreographer, and thus I have purposefully done so. Through the songs of the film I have tried to choreograph the moments. You are going to see a film by a choreographer so there ought to be something different.
Do you find any difference in direction and dance direction?
People say these are similar kind of work, but I find differences. Till now I had to showcase my dancing skills, but Swami being an emotional film, you will get to see the real Ganesh.
Has Rakeysh Omprakash Meha assisted you in the film?
No, it is not so. But I respect his thinking if he feels so. He has been with me in my bad phase. There are many people in the industry who have boosted my confidence and I will remain indebted to them all my life.
How was the feeling winning an award for Beedi from Omkara?
I did not feel good. I have done good work earlier too, but what saddens me is that after such a long time I have got the recognition. My father and guru Kamal are no longer alive. If I had won this award in their presence, it would have made a difference.
So awards no longer excite you?
No they don't. The love of my viewers is my award.
Tell us about your next film Hai Na Bolo Bolo.
It is still in a pre-mature stage to talk about. All that I can say is that it will be an emotional musical drama. I will also be directing a film named 'Shambhu'. I will also be producing to films under my banner Pushpa Krishna Creations. However, I will not be directing them.
Is there any message that Swami conveys?
Yes there is a message. There are a few loved ones in our life who we should never forget. They could be our parents, friends or any other person. These people lay the foundation in our lives, on which we build our dreams.