did you enter into film industry?
did MA English (Lit) in Chennai University. I also did diploma
in Journalism from Chennai University itself. I completed
my MA in Psychology in Annamalai University. I started working
in Andhra Jyothi daily after my education is over. Later
I shifted to Jyothi Chitra. For a few days I worked in Indian
Express also. I have written lots of short stories and won
lots of awards. I won awards like Chakrapani award, Andhra
Prabha award, Vanita Sankranti Award etc.
recently directed a film titled "Chantigaadu".
Only Teja and Daasari gaaru have taken new artists in their
first films and all the other directors have started off
their careers with experienced actors and actresses. When
I started making Chantigadu, everybody said that it is a
risky proposition. Though I did not have any practical experience
I took up the task of directing a movie with a relatively
new cast and crew and this is due to the visualization capabilities
I have acquired as a writer. Except for Vandemaatram Srinivas
(music) and Ram-Lakshman (stunts) all the crew members are
new. This film has successfully completed 100 days in 25
my film is small and people are not willing to come to theatres
to watch small films until and unless it is a good movie,
I think that we were able to reach the audience very well.
I have got very good appreciation for Chantigadu. I think
I got more recognition than the talent that I have (giggles).
Thanks to the aggressive promotion by the media. Almost
all the bigwigs in the industry have watched the movie and
they had a word of appreciation for me.
Naidu gaaru watched the movie till the rolling titles are
completed. He said that the movie would have been a bigger
hit with a better star cast. He said that he received feedback
from Guntakal distributor that the movie is a hit. He also
appreciated me by saying that I was able to introduce more
talent to the film industry and he is proud of me. Also
Mr & Mrs MS Raju watched the movie and commended my
guts for taking a relatively new cast and crew and doing
the movie within the budget. They also appreciated the picturization
of the songs. Lots of producers have approached me for doing
a movie and I have got around 7-8 offers. We are planning
to announce one film very soon. I am not a kind of person
who can do number of films at a time and I want to take
my own time for doing a film.
am a voracious book reader. I read lots of award winning
books mostly which are written in Telugu and English. I
also used to buy lot of books from my childhood days. Due
to the interaction with the great personalities, I could
improve my literary skills. I was not inclined towards movies
then and one day unintentionally I watched the Akira Kurosawa
movie in DD on Television and I was greatly impressed by
it. Then I realized that we could influence people though
movies in a better way compared to writing books. I used
to watch art films of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen during
those days in a mini theatre and my dad used to say that
normal people does not watch those films and I used to tell
that those are the movies that I like the most. I joined
in film appreciation course and watched lot of foreign films
and regional films of different languages.
got a chance to direct a film 10 years back and I refused
it as I do not have any idea on how to make a film and I
did not have enough confidence. I did Chantigaadu because
I thought that we could treat the movie differently.
are the magazines in which your stories are published?
stories are published in almost all the magazines, viz,
Andhra Prabha, Andhra Jyothi, Swathi monthly and Andhra
Patrika. Also I have my stories published in dailies on
Sunday. Mostly it was in Eenaadu Sunday and Andhra Jyothi
Sunday edition. I also worked for Andhra Jyothi Sunday edition
under the editorship of Nanduri Ramamohana Rao. I am also
a cartoonist and I have my cartoons published in Tamil,
Telugu and English. I have almost done 100 cartoons. I have
my cartoons published in "Ananda Vikatan" a famous
tamil magazine. I also wrote lot of poems that are left
oriented. I was greatly influenced by Raavi Sastry, Kaali
patnam mastaaru and Charabanda Raju gaaru. I have also worked
in RSU (Radical Student Union) and Virasam (Viplava Rachayitala
Sangham) for couple of years and my poems are influenced
by radical thoughts. I also wrote for Chandamaama and the
editor at that time was Kodavakanti Kutumba Rao gaaru. I
am an ardent fan of him and he used to encourage me a lot
by publishing my stories in Chandamaama. During their last
days I used to interact a lot with Palagummi Padma Raju
and Sri Sri. They used to encourage me a lot during my earlier
days in my career. Though I did not apply for any job, I
got a job in Andhra Jyothi. In those days, in Eenadu and
Andhra Jyothi they used to conduct test and then they used
to give the posting as a trainee. But Nanduri Rammohana
Rao, then the editor of Andhra Jyothi after looking at my
stories wrote a letter to me asking me to take up the job
in Andhra Jyothi and I was surprised about it since I was
aged 20 and I was in final year of my education. Then I
used to do the job and simultaneously prepared for my final
year of exams. I also used to write articles for Mirror
and the editor then Ms. Prabha Govindan used to encourage
me a lot. I came into film journalism by chance and it was
not intentional. Andhra Jyothi shifted me to Jyothi Chitra
though I do not know anything about film journalism. I shifted
to Chennai as my parents are there and since I used to write
the articles with a modern touch I go instant recognition.
I also worked for Siva Ranjani for couple of days and then
we started our own magazine Super Hit.
is your next project?
My dream is to direct an English film. I got the script
ready and I am narrating the story to the producers
who are interested in making such a film. I am also
looking forward to cast fresh faces for various characters
in this film. This film would have 3 important characters
A debonair looking man of 40 year old is needed
for a vital character. For those who want to know
how this person should look like and what a life
style this person lead should be like that of Vijay
2. A beautiful girl of 24 years old. She should
have looks of a high society girl
3. A guy around 25 years old with charming personality.
We also have several other characters of various age
groups in this film. The primary qualification for
any of these artists is communication skills. We need
people who can speak fluent English with Indian accent.
are also looking for people who are willing to fund
the project. And enthusiastic guys who want to work
in script and direction departments. The interesting
people can reach me at [email protected]
with your portfolio.
would be making a film that can create more sensation
than Meera Nair's Kama Sutra and Deepa Mehta's Fire.
This film makes an attempt at a bold subject and deals
very much with human emotions. That was one of the
reason why I did MA Psychology and I prepared the
script that exploits the intensity that exists in
this film with Indian background that happens in an Indian
Yes. This is a Hinglish (English+Hindi) movie in the pattern
of Mansoon Wedding, Hyderabad Blues etc. where there will
be dialogues in both the languages. This movie is of Cosmopolitan
nature with corporate background. It is like an offbeat
story by Shoba De.
different do you think did you direct Chantigaadu when compared
with other films?
the subject is not new, we treated the film differently
with a new screenplay and we exposed the visuals without
lengthy dialogues. My friends even commended that the film
does not look like a writer's movie. Even if you look at
. the writer dominates the director in
Trivikram Srinivas for that film and I tried not to do the
same thing here by having crispy dialogues. Even if you
look at the movies directed by either Paruchuri brothers
or Satya Murthy or any other dialogue writers there would
be scenes for dialogues but I tried to exploit the visual
media more than the normal writer-director does. Even dubbing
artist Suneetha said that there are not enough dialogues
for her to utter during dubbing. The film has a huge success
in B & C centers as the narration is done with a tight
screenplay without any boring moment.
How much roll did you expose?
exposed 52000 feet and it is very less when compared to
other films in the industry. These days they are taking
around 100000 to 150000 feet. It seems this is the first
time that such a short length is exposed by a new director
and even the lab people are stunned by it. For the dialogue
version, we have taken around 22 days for shooting and we
have exposed around 24000 feet and the remaining is for
songs and action sequences which are for 32 minutes and
we have taken only 24000 feet for the other 2 hours of the
is the budget for Chantigaadu and what are the profits made
by the distributors?
The budget is Rs. 80 lakhs without publicity. We have made
decent profits and everybody down the line (distributors
and exhibitors) is extremely happy with the outcome. Chantigadu
increased the banner value of 'Superhit Friends'.
were nothing when Chantigadu was released. With the success
of that film, the expectations do grow for 2nd venture.
How are you going to meet the expectations for your next
am not afraid of expectations. Chantigaadu is houseful for
first 2 days in all centers for all shows though there are
no expectations and I expect my next film to be houseful
for 4-5 days during the release time. There was drop for
collection for Chantigaadu from the second week and picked
up again after 4th week and I will try not to have the same
situation for my next movie. Chantigadu did not run well
in the main theatres of A centers well but it performed
extraordinarily well in B and C centers.
you get any compliments from anyone other than Rama Naidu
and MS Raju?
YVS Chowdary, Krishna and Vijaya Nirmala complimented us
do you think the new lady directors who have done films
in recent times are not successful?
emotion is required for a film, entertainment is the one
that needs to be exploited to make a successful movie. Since
emotions and twists are available freely on idiot box, we
need to provide something exceptional to the audience so
that they can come to the theatre and watch the movie. In
the earlier days, films like Sankarabaranam is a hit because
people used to come to the theatre and watch the movie as
it has got a hit talk and there is now way they can watch
it using CD. But these days even for a movie like Chantigaadu,
there are pirated VCDs that have come up and I am receiving
around 15-20 calls a day about the pirated VCDs. VCD Piracy
is one thing that is killing the movie industry. The youth
have different avenues of entertainment. At the same time
the working class does not prefer to watch a movie that
doesn't have an entertainment value and good music in the
film. If these two things (entertainment and music) are
missing then that film is not successful. This applies for
good for male as well as female directors.
the earlier days, people used to watch the movies for the
hero. But recently heroines started playing a major role
in the success of the film, as youth audience has become
major contributors to the success of the film. Even our
trade representatives are informing that one of the reasons
behind the success of Satyam is Genelia D'souza. Also if
you know everyone is looking for the release of Malleswari
just because of Katrina Kaif. And we need to keep in mind
before selecting the heroine. We can't imagine the success
of Missamma film without Bhumika Chawla playing it. If we
need repeat audience then we need make sure that we have
a nice heroine.
English film is expected to have bold theme. Don't you foresee
wrote a serial for Mayuri magazine called Kaugili that was
an instant hit during those for the boldness it portrayed.
It also came as a novel. I also write another short story
called Sparsa and people are dumbstruck after reading the
story. I received number of fan mails for that short story
and it is translated and published in Illustrated weekly
also. I also write a short story called Vrutthi. The point
is very small. If a VIP is planning to visit a temple, the
god is decorated well. Likewise if a high paying customer
is coming to a prostitute, she makes sure that she has her
best dress and best makeup. So I compared prostitute with
God and wrote the story. I used the picture consisting of
Venkateswara swamy above the waist and a lady structure
for the other half of the body. Some people came from TTD
(Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam) and protested. I faced lot
of problems from my family as well as outsiders for this.
Facing controversies is not new for me.
is the subject of your English film?
I do not want to divulge the details of the movie now. But
it will be on the similar lines of "Kama Sutra"
you think you got more media exposure than what you deserve?
Yeah. Because I am a media person, I managed to get the
exposure from electronic as well as print media and that
is my strength. Every director has got their own strengths
like they belong to Ram Gopal Varma School and they use
his name to get more exposure. Likewise, the most recent
director Surya Kiran has come with Nagarjuna background.
I have come to this stage just because of my creativity
that I have in writing the stories and drawing cartoons.
us about the success story of Superhit film weekly?
I started the magazine Superhit, almost all everyone was
against the idea, as I did not have any backup at that time
but others like Sitara has the backup of Eenadu, Jyothi
Chitra has Andhra Jyothi and Sivaranjani has Udayam. But
we went ahead with the idea and we became successful. Those
who have tried starting a weekly film magazine earlier to
us have shutdown the shop in two or three months as they
do not have the backup of a daily. All our well-wishers
discouraged the idea of starting the Superhit film weekly.
have designed the size of the magazine. Though Raju garu
(my husband) is the editor, I was the one who was more popular
at that time. I know Raju garu's capability and caliber
and I thought that he will shine better in an individual
role and we invested our own hard earned money. We suffered
a lot in the first three months as we have a very big size
magazine. Our agents used to fight in the first three months
asking me to change the size of the magazine but I went
ahead with what we have designed asking them to wait for
couple of months. And Superhit's size and reporting style
has become standard for any film magazines that are coming
you have any message to the visitors of idlebrain.com?
Watch my film Chantigadu and send us the feedback at [email protected].
Watch out for my next English flick!!