Chandrajith Belliappa grew up in a small town in Karnataka. As a child he wanted to be an actor first, and later a director. This in itself isn’t unusual – we’ve all had our share of childhood dreams. But Chandrajith kept his interest alive through school, college, and during his years as a software engineer. He read spy novels, wrote scripts, made short films with a friend, and when he got an opportunity to move full-time into the Kannada film industry, he didn’t hesitate.
In his four years as a writer in this industry, he has worked on films like Kirik Party and Avane Srimannarayana, which were among the biggest box office hits in recent years. He has also directed a short film titled ‘Rainbow Land’ in the anthology Katha Sangama.
Chandrajith and I talked about his transition from Software Engineer to Film Writer and Director, but along the way I also got to hear about the way some things work in the film industry. And it’s not always what you imagine from the outside.
The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Perhaps a good place to begin would be to look at your current occupation. Can you tell me a bit about your current role in the Kannada film industry as writer and director?
I am employed as a full time screenwriter at this production house called Paramvah Studios. I juggle between various roles but primarily I do a lot of screenwriting. Probably a year from now I will be looking at directing a couple of features as well.
Paramvah Studios owned by Rakshit Shetty, one of the famous actor-director in Kannada films. And as I understand so you’ve been working with him for a few years now, since 2016?
Yes, I am working with him for close to four years now.
You’ve collaborated with him on Kirik Party, Avane Srimannarayana and also this short film that you’ve made Katha Sangama.
Katha Sangama was in collaboration with Rishab Shetty sir. The others were with Rakshit Shetty sir.
It basically started with a project called Thugs of Malgudi which he was supposed to direct and in which he and Sudeep were supposed to act together. I joined as a writer for that project but eventually that didn’t materialize and then I made a transition into Kirik Party.Continue reading “Chandrajith Belliappa: From writing programs to writing screenplays”