Manaroopa, a new age psychological Kannada feature film, has bagged three awards at the prestigious ‘10th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival’, India. The awards were in the following category - Best Debut Director Award for Kiran Hegde; Best Cinematography Award for Govinda Raj and Best Supporting Actor Award for Amogh Siddarth.
Manaroopa (Reflection of Mind), a debut film of Kiran Hegde, a communication professional turned film-maker, captures the varied emotions of generation next ranging from self-obsession, narcissism to being a neglected lot, issues of loneliness & self-destruction, divorce, love failure in marriage, life without marriage, escapism and living together. Manaroopa has been entirely filmed in the thick forest of Western Ghats - in & around the hinterland of Sirsi and Siddapura forests.
Though the film on release was not able to attract the audience owing to its forward looking theme and relevance to next generation topic like dark web and red room crime, Manaroopa gradually reached various national and international film festivals and got noticed and started bagging film festival awards including the Istanbul Film Awards, Turkey; Miami International Film Festival, US; and Cafe Irani International Film Festival, Mumbai. Now, Manaroopa film is being streamed on Amazon Prime worldwide and attracting audience like never before.
The raining of awards is testimony to the conviction of Kiran Hegde, who in his first attempt has combined his passion for nature and movie making to produce Manaroopa. Hailing from Menasi in Sirsi taluk of Uttara Kannada District, Kiran Hegde was bent upon making a film based a theme that was not only contemporary but also that captures narcissist mindset with sociological and existential nihilism content in Kannada language.
According to Kiran Hegde, “These awards are precious for me and the entire Manaroopa crew. The idea behind the film Manaroopa was to highlight issues relevant to millennials thought process, mainly the meaninglessness of life and existential nihilism by elaborating the personal pressure which is not explained and I call it abstraction. In the film few characters are absurd and think their life in meaningless. While I was scripting the film, it suddenly sparked that character’s intention which are influenced by their family members who also struggled and their life is also absurd. Millennials life and their confusion are the key subject of Manaroopa and I selected the forest as backdrop to showcase the loneliness and meaninglessness of life. I believe the relevance of its theme which is in consonant to the current era is attracting juries at various film festivals at both national and international level and enabling them to bestow awards to Manaroopa film and its crew.”
Manaroopa’ s entire story takes place in a day and offers a strange experience for the audience to enjoy and if possible connect it with their self-obsession. This is a film about a planned get-together of 5 friends meeting up after a decade and this takes them to the dense forest of Western Ghats. The escapable nature in them make them choose Karadi Guhe (Bear Cave) as their destination to unwind, recollect the past and also share their future dreams. During the travel, the friends crave about their good old days together and intimately discuss the missed opportunities, which raises issue of morality. Even as they inch towards their destination, they are still unaware of the challenges in store for them and also do not realize that their journey is being snooped. If the nature of terrain, and unchartered territory is one trial, the other major challenge is their encounter with Maskaphobias. The movie has all the trappings of a strange web of extreme narcissistic mind.
Dilip Kumar, Anusha Rao, Nisha Yash Ram, Aryan, Shivaprasad excelled in their roles as millennials. Likewise, Amogh Siddarth, Gaja Ninasam and Prajwal Gowda as dark characters with shade of narcissist mind set complimented the main characters very well to add a twist to the tale (Their motive is nothing but living without any purpose). Sarvanaa scored music for the film and dialogues were penned by Mahabal Seethalabhavi and Kiran Hegde.