Exclusive interview: Content shall always remain the superstar, says Ajai Rao

Fondly called “Lucky Krishna” in Sandalwood, the actor-producer will soon be seen in a period drama based on Kannada writer Triveni’s novel 'Vasantha Geetha'; his second production venture will be helmed by Pavan Bhat.

ByShashiprasad S M

Published Oct 11, 2022 | 8:07 PMUpdatedOct 11, 2022 | 8:07 PM

kannada ajai rao

One of the finest actors in the Kannada film industry and now a producer himself, Ajai Rao is back with his second production venture, which will be launched soon. He will also be seen in a period drama based on the novel penned by renowned Kannada writer Triveni.

After delivering hits such as Krishnan Love Story (2010), Krishnan Marriage Story (2011), Krishna-Rukku (2016) and Krishna Leela (2015), Ajai is fondly referred to as Sandalwood’s “Lucky Krishna”. Krishna Leela was his first venture as a producer under the banner of Sri Krishna Arts and Creations.

“It took six years for me to bring out another film under my banner. The sole reason for me to start my own production house was to make meaningful subjects which are also high on entertainment,” Ajai Rao tells South First.

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Ajai Rao in Krishna Leela. (ajairaoofficial/Facebook)

“Though my first flick was well-received by the audience for its unique script and narration, I didn’t want to take up another project until I get a script that would convince me to bankroll it too,” he quips.

According to Ajai, this is the usual case with many filmmakers who are approached by budding directors after failing to find producers to bankroll their projects.

“Sometimes, good projects go out of hand due to various reasons. It happens when a producer doesn’t rope in a director who can ably handle a particular subject and vice-versa.”

Upcoming movies of Ajai Rao

Soon-to-be launched, Ajai Rao’s second venture will be directed by Pavan Bhat whose previous film Cutting Shop was critically acclaimed. The director penned successful projects including Operation Alamelamma, Mayabazar, and Alidu Ulidavaru.

Meanwhile, the untitled project of Ajai Rao – which was launched some time ago and is being directed by Manju Swaraj of Shravani Subramanya (2013) fame – will go on floors next month.

“The film, based on the novel Vasantha Geetha written by Triveni, is my first of many other projects that I have signed as an actor,” says Ajai. The movie is a period drama (love story).

Most of Triveni’s works have been adapted for the screen, especially in Kannada, by Puttanna Kanagal, one of the brilliant filmmakers in Sandalwood. Films like Belli Moda, Hannele Chiguridaga, and Sharapanjara were all adapted from Triveni’s works.

Since Vasantha Geetha is based in the 70s, a lot of work has gone into the preparation, the tone and the characteristics, Ajai informs.

On pan-Indian films

krishna talkies movie

Ajai Rao in Krishna Talkies film. (AjaiRao/Twitter)

Ever since the pan-Indian phenomenon crept into Sandalwood, post-KGF’s humongous success, and the emergence of over-the-top (OTT) players, there has been a greater change in the aspects of the film business. Previously, the Kannada film industry would heavily struggle with the competition posed by other language movies.

“People assume that movies released by big production houses involving star actors only can survive at the box office. However, time and again, it has been proved that irrespective of the budget (big or small), a film is not viable unless it has good content and better presentation,” the actor-producer clarifies.

“For example, the latest sensation Kantara. Unlike other flicks, it was first made in Kannada. After its huge success, demand has prompted the makers to release the dubbed versions. Hence proven that it is content which shall always remain a superstar,” asserts Ajai, before signing off.