‘Kaiva’ story struck my mind while I was looking for maggots in a mortuary, reveals director Jayatheertha

A period film set in the 1980s, ‘Kaiva’ is based on real-life incidents. It features Dhanveerrah and Megha Shetty in the lead.

ByShashiprasad S M

Published Nov 14, 2023 | 3:37 PMUpdatedNov 14, 2023 | 3:39 PM

Jayatheertha Kaiva is set in the year 1983

An idea or story can strike a passionate filmmaker anytime and anywhere!

Kanada director Jayatheertha got the story of his upcoming film Kaiva on the post-mortem table in the mortuary while he was looking for maggots (larvae of a fly).

It does sound strange, but Jayatheertha revealed this at the launch of the action teaser of Kaiva on Monday, 13 November.

He said he got the story of Kaiva during an interaction with the man who assists in post-mortem at the mortuary.

“It’s quite strange as to how we come across stories. I went to the mortuary to collect maggots, which I wanted to use for a scene in my film Bell Bottom (2019). It was then that I encountered a real incident that became the story for Kaiva,” Jayatheertha recalled.

Kaiva director jayatheertha

Director Jayatheetha. (Supplied)

The director shared that while interacting with the man who assists in the post-mortem procedure, he sought to know whether he would get scared while dissecting dead human bodies.

“The man told me that he was never scared. However, he admitted that he was taken aback by the gruesome way a man was hacked to death,” the Kannada filmmaker quipped.

He added, “I was curious, and it led to a love story of a kind from 1983. Kaiva is the name of a person in the film. I didn’t use the real name of the person. However, the characters and the incidents in the flick are all real.”

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Set in 1983

The story of Kaiva is set in 1983. According to the makers, the world-famous “Karaga” festival in Bengaluru and the tragic incident that rocked the city at that time have a connection with the film.

A seven-storey building under construction collapsed near Kapali cinema in 1983, resulting in the death of at least 123 people. Nearly 120 were injured in the incident.

“The whole love story takes off with the ‘Karaga’ event, and the festival will be a part of the film as the story progresses. You must watch it to know more about the 1983 connection,” Jayatheertha quipped.

“Kaiva will also have the presence of a few Bengaluru underworld names. I did extensive research and shot the movie with prior approval from everyone concerned, including the management and the community (Thigalaru) that organises the ‘Karaga’ event,” he added.

Also Read: From Instagram to silver screen: Megha Shetty talks about her journey

Shot in a single schedule

Actor Abhishek Ambareesh team Kaiva

Actor Abhishek Ambareesh along with team ‘Kaiva’. (Supplied).

The Kannada film also focuses on various scams that occurred during the 1980s.

“Right from the RTO scams that were operated from select guest houses to the forging of rubber stamps, all are well documented in Kaiva. Since it is a period film, several technicians involved in Bell Bottom worked for it too,” the filmmaker revealed.

The entire film was shot in a single schedule. The majority of portions were shot in Mysuru, and a few in parts of Thigalarapete and other locations in Bengaluru.

Swetha Priya, who worked for ad agencies, is debuting as a cinematographer with Kaiva.

The Kannada director was all praises for her work as she gave the perfect colour and tone to give the project a real glimpse of the 1980s.

Apart from Dhanveerrah and Megha Shetty, Kaiva also features at least five Kannada film directors, including Dinakar Thoogudeepa, BM Giriraj, Raghu Shivamogga, and Ramesh Indira.

Ajaneesh Lokanath scored the music. The film is scheduled for release in December.