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For those who have watched the Ramya-Dino Moreastarrer Julie, Poornima Mohan will not be an unfamiliar name.
While her maiden Kannada venture was a remake, her second one, titled School Days, has an original plot.
"The film revolves around 15 students studying in an international high school. I have tried to show how parents working in IT/BT sectors and those from the business world enrol their kid in such schools and most often mount pressure on them to excel. Proper parental guidance is key to formulating a teenager's path and that is what I have set out to say," says Poornima adding that most her roles are based on the experiences of her daughter and her friends.
So did she consider casting her daughter in the film? "No, she is not interested in acting. She finished school and left for Singapore to study architecture. I have cast some of her friends, though, and graduates from Anupam Kher's acting school."
Several of the lead actors have already received offers from other production houses. "One of the actors, Lavin, will in fact be seen in Vidya Balan's Dirty Picture. Some others have bagged serials and reality shows," says Poornima.
Though she is happy that her choice of actors has been noted even before the release of the film, she says it wasn't easy handling a bunch of newcomers. "When I made Julie, I had a reference script and experienced actors to fall back on. But in School Days, I had to guide my actors at each stage. It was almost like cracking a tough exam paper!"
And how confident is she that this film will do well when teenage reality films have been made before and 15, Ee Vayase Onthara, starring Kishan, is also due to release?
"My film is not a love story between teenagers. Also it will stand out due to its presentation," she says.
School Days will be made in Kannada and Hindi and dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
Emil has composed six songs and actress Nidhi Subbaiah will feature in one of them.
The film is set for a December release.