Surya Vasishta opens his innings on screen as a director writer actor with the Kannada film Saramsha

Dreams do not remain within reach without the courage to chase them, and such is the story of a software engineer turned storyteller, Surya Vasishta. Elated by the realization of his dream to become an actor, Surya’s journey took off with a role in the Kannada series, ‘Jogula’ aired in 2008 on Zee Kannada. With determination as his close ally, he faced all the hurdles head-on. “Which profession is devoid of challenges?” Surya poses the question rhetorically. Once immersed in the joys of storytelling, he could not envision himself doing anything else.

Presently, Surya manages Astu Studios, a corporate film studio that ensures his sustenance. His portfolio impresses with contributions to films like ‘U-Turn’ and ‘Gantu Moote’. “I am passionate about acting and everything that surrounds filmmaking,” Surya remarks. That passion has now culminated in his debut as the protagonist in a feature film that he has not only penned but also helmed as director – ‘Saramsha’.

An image of Surya, intensely engaged amidst the bustle of the film set, was provided to showcase the making of this high-concept film. Surya paints us a picture of ‘Saramsha’: a narrative centered on a writer who encounters the characters from his stories. “The subject revolves around the concept of reading and storytelling. At the end of a book, we are left with the emotions it stirred within us and its summary,” Surya explains, revealing the thought process behind the film’s intriguing title.

As an ardent bibliophile, Surya shares a snippet of dialogue from the film, which encapsulates a broader philosophical view: “I am a summary of my emotions and experiences.” This line, according to him, highlights the human tendency to distill complex experiences into a simple essence – a label that attempts to define us.

Surya’s tryst with direction and storytelling ignited when he worked as an assistant director on Agni Sreedhar’s ‘Thamassu’. This role brought a newfound appreciation for the craft of storytelling. “The experience of living through the emotions of the characters you create during the writing process and then seeing an actor breathe life into these characters, fascinated me,” Surya shares. This dichotomy between fiction and the actor’s reality inspired the creation of ‘Saramsha’.

Scheduled for a February 15 release, the majority of ‘Saramsha’ was lensed in Bengaluru with significant sequences shot in Manipal. Producers Ravi Kashyap of Vibha Kashyap Productions and RK Nallam of Klapboard Productions have brought the project to fruition. Despite not having a single billed music director, the film boasts of two talented composers: Udith Haritas crafted the songs, while Aparajith Sris provided the atmospheric background score. Ananth Bharadwaj, debuting as a cinematographer, took on the task of capturing Surya’s vision on film.

‘Saramsha’ hosts a compelling cast including Deepak Subramanya, Sruti Hariharan, and Shweta Gupta. Surya elaborates, “I started off just writing the story. I wanted to play a part, but didn’t write with any role for myself in mind.” On the acting front, Sruti Hariharan, a National Award recipient and an acquaintance of Surya since their days on ‘Lucia’, was a welcome addition. Deepak Subramanya’s malleable talent and award-winning board made him an easy choice for the leading man. Surya’s emphasis was on a casting decision rooted in comfort and trust, given his first venture as a director.

‘Saramsha’ is poised to unfold many psychological layers, promising a blend of emotional drama and magical realism. “It contains magical elements, yet it’s not a fantasy. It’s grounded in reality, in the everyday world that everyone can relate to,” he asserts. The story’s literary foundation is expected to manifest on screen, with a metaphorical aspect that runs through the narrative. The compelling tagline of the film, “You cannot find closure to your story if someone else is writing it,” underscores a theme that promises to resonate with audiences long after the credits roll.

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