Kashinath, the popular Kannada actor and film-maker of the 1980s is considered a trend-setter for his unconventional looks, style of making films, and dialogue delivery. His films touched on subjects that were considered taboo and vulgar in Indian society of that time.
Among the 16 films he acted in, produced, or directed, were popular films such as Anubhava, Ananthana Avanthara, Ajagajanthara, Aparajita and Hendathi Andre Hegirabeku.

Kashinath had an exceptional eye for tapping raw talent and among his disciples in the Kannada film industry are Upendra, V Manohar and Sunil Kumar Desai.

Kashinath has now opened his own training school and has christened it Kashinath Producers' Training Institute.

The institute has executed a live film project, 12 am Midnight, that is releasing this Friday. The actor-filmmaker has taken on the role of an executive producer for the film besides acting in it.

In this interview with Srikanth Srinivasa, Kashinath talks about the new business model of film-making and the content of the film.

What is 12 am Midnight all about?

It is a horror film with a comical touch and a suspense thriller. The film is about an incident that occurs at midnight in a medical college.

The movie turns the spotlight on whether ghosts exist or not, given the fact that there are so many dead bodies in the medical college.

Image: A scene from 12 am Midnight

 What is your role in the film?

I play a lecturer's role. Apart from that, I am the executive producer. I have helped the producer from the beginning (storyboard stage) till the end.

Why is it titled 12 am Midnight?

There lies the element of curiosity. After 11 pm it is 12 midnight. A majority of people say 12 pm in the afternoon when it is 12 noon.

We thought why not title our film '12 am' because it is 12.01 am after midnight.

Why have you started this producers' training institute?

Whenever there is an investment in any industry, there should be outgo of funds.

There was an investment of Rs 200 crore in the Kannada film business a few years ago following the success of a few films made by youngsters. But there was no return on investments nor was there any turnover.

Producers vanished from the scene after making a film. I felt that the industry is heading in the wrong direction.

If a person managed to 'catch' a producer, then he would himself become a director. People without knowledge of direction or films became directors overnight.

There were a lot of financial assumptions made by these 'enterprising' people regarding territories and television rights.

People approached me during this boom period and I told them straight "if you cannot release the film don't do it!"

Image: A scene from 12 am Midnig
 Who encouraged you with this idea of training the producers?

Some people in the industry and media persons were encouraging.I thought producers need to develop a taste for cinema.

It is all about practical execution of a project; there is no theory whatsoever. When some producers approached me to do a film I mooted this proposal.

It is not enough for a producer to invest money and then forget about the movie. He should know what he is doing.

Will this model be without risks?

I have been telling producers and film-makers that we are creating only an illusion. If people are willing to pay a price, there is a value, otherwise it is an illusion.

All that is required is a sincere effort. The producer should know the intent of the film and decide the genre of film that he is planning to make or is ready to produce.

We start thinking backwards. We think from the audiences' points of view who buy tickets to see the movie. Producers should not spend excessively.

Image: A scene from 12 am Midnight

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