The countdown to Kannada actor-filmmaker Rishab Shetty’s next, Kantara, has well and truly begun. In less than 24 hours, the film will open at several location across the country with paid premieres. Initially, it was announced that Kantara would premiere in centres across Karnataka, as well as a few select halls in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Kasaragod. But then, today, makers Hombale Films revealed that there will be as many as 20 premieres of the film in the northern parts of the country as well.
What makes this significant is the fact that Kantara is releasing in Kannada only, with English subtitles. This is, apparently, a first for Kannada cinema, given that the focus is normally to release a dubbed version suitable for the region and only then allot the Kannada version in select locations. But since Kantara has not been dubbed, demand for 20 shows is a positive sign of original content consumption.
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According to the official announcement, PVR Cinemas, Inox Cinemas and Cinepolis will have paid premieres of the film in Ghatkopar, Kurla, Chembur, Andheri, Goregaon, Malad, Thane, Dombivali, Panvel, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Margoa and Provorim.
Written and directed by Rishab, who also plays the lead in the film, Kantara also stars Kishore, Sapthami Gowda, Achyuth Kumar and Pramod Shetty in pivotal roles. The film has music by Ajaneesh Loknath and cinematography by Aravind Kashyap and revolves around a man vs man as well as a man vs nature conflict in an eco-sensitive zone.
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Rishab Shetty is on board as the director as well as the lead actor in Kantara. The film also stars Kishore and Achyuth Kumar in the lead roles and is bankrolled by Hombale Films. “Kantara is a mysterious forest and this is a story that happens around the area, if I were to explain it as per my story. The film title has a tagline calling it a dhanta kathe or a legend. I did not want to give the film a straight or direct title. The word is not used often. While it has Sankrit origins, it is used in Kannada too. It is used in Yakshagana too, where we call a very mysterious forest Kantara. This title creates a mystery and let everyone even solve it right from the title itself,” shares Rishab.
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Set in a fictional village of Dakshina Kannada, Kantara is a visual grandeur that brings alive the traditional culture of Kambla and Bhootha Kola. It is believed that Demigods are the guardians and their energies encircle the village. In the story, there is a ripple when a battle of ego swirls along tradition and culture of the land. The soul of the story is on human and nature conflict in which Shiva is the rebellion and works against nature. There are intense conflicts he indulges in. In the end, a much awaiting loop leads to war between the villagers and the evil forces. Will Shiva, the protagonist of the film be able to reinstate peace and harmony in the village perceiving his existence?