The film is set in a remote village in Southern India, Pedro, an outcast and a drunk, accidentally kills a cow and sets off a revelatory chain of events that pit him against the entire community.
This 27-year-old director from Sirsi in Karnataka smiles that he never thought that the film would invite such wide-spread critical acclaim and reach a huge audience. “My father played the title character Pedro and he is also an electrician, and the movie is about an electrician as well. There are things that are both autobiographical and fictional. There was an incident inspired by my father’s life that pushed me to write this — he lost his finger in an accident.”
For someone whose short stories started getting published at the age of 19, it was cinema that was destined to “complete” him. “There was this peculiar urge to express more. I wanted to tell stories with multiple elements at play.”
Hegde, who did not go to a film school or even assist a director does really miss formal education in cinema. “I watched cinema. And watched it like crazy — that was my training.”
The reason ‘Pedro’ is not a co-production as the case is with many contemporary independent films — “One has to write too many long emails and there is too much pitching involved. That is just not me,” he smiles.
Talk to him about the struggle involved in getting the funds and he asserts that the real one is deciphering the fact if what one is making is “really cinema”. It is about the medium. What can a film be? What is a cinematic image? When you have watched some of the best movies ever made, there is bound to be a struggle to go ‘beyond’, no? I don’t consider finding funds a struggle.”
Currently adapting for his next project “Tiger’s Pond” — “It’s becoming a trilogy; Pedro, Tiger’s Pond and another one, all of them are based in his village.”
When it comes to his process, he says, “My scripts are just 20-25 pages. I improvise a lot and write things how I see them in my mind. Everything is sharp and precise. Writing too much is a problem.”
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