New kannada film Dil Khush

Kannada movie Love Guru director Prashanth Raj is desperately seeking a new face for his next kannada film Dil Khush

It’s a dream opportunity for any aspiring actress. For here is Prashanth Raj, scouring the city for new talent. The young filmmaker, who has to his credit the critically acclaimed Love Guru and now Gaana Bajaana ready for release, is on a hunt for a new face to play the female lead in his next, Dil Khush.

Prashanth tells us he knows she’s somewhere out there and he’s been looking everywhere. “The other day at a mall I was trailing this girl, but she wouldn’t get off her phone for hours, so I didn’t get the opportunity to approach her,” he says. Clearly, finding his next heroine takes up all his energies right now.

The chosen actress, Prashanth says, will be no mere hunk accessory. “Even in Love Guru, Radhika Pandit had a significant role and she went on to win a Filmfare award for it. The female lead in Dil Khush is also central to the storyline,” he adds.

“She should be in her early 20s; beyond that I have no other criteria,” he says, adding, “anyone with a burning desire to act can learn the art.” The director, a student of Subhash Ghai’s film school who went on to work with the Bhatt banner, himself considers a good story told by a passionate team the essence of his film-making, rather than big budgets and hype. “We seem to have confused commerce and art, and that doesn’t bode well for our cinema,” he rues.

Dil Khush will, like his two films until now, be a love story. What’s more, Prashanth will again cast Tharun Chandra in the lead. “Yes, I do tend to work with the same team,” the director says, “but I’m always on the lookout for fresh talent. Alongside my heroine hunt, I’m also inviting anyone with cinematic talent — whether it’s scripting, writing lyrics or choreography — to come up and impress me.”

But top priority is his heroine. “I hope the film will be the perfect launch vehicle for a great new talent. She should always be remembered for having wowed in her first movie,” says the film-maker, who is determined to bring a surge of freshness into Kannada cinema.