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Interview with Hari Charan Prasad
Date: January 21, 2009, Hyderabad
hari charan prasad

Hari Charan Prasad – an NRI from USA – made his debut as the producer with an award winning film - Kamli. Now he is turning into direction with a thriller titled Shh…. This film is releasing worldwide on 23 January. Here are the excerpts of an exclusive interview with this passionate movie lover -

I am born and brought up in Anantapur. I did my graduation in science and post graduation in sociology. I worked as an officer in Indian Bank for 12 years. I was one of the firsts to join Global Trust Bank. Later on I worked for Indus Ind Bank. My specialization is forex and treasury management. I went to USA to work for Peoplesoft.

Movies and books connection:
I had always been a lover of good films. LIC and Bank employees in Anantapur formed ‘Anantapur Film Society’ (AFISO). We used to discuss cinemas and organize seminars by invited good filmmakers. I used to go to Bangalore on weekends and watch all available good films (both Indian and Hollywood) back to back. I enjoyed the process of watching movies.

I am also a voracious reader of books. I used to wonder why our writers are not doing research while writing books. There are not many books in Telugu on the triumph of human spirit. One book that impressed me the most is Malapalli by Unnava Lakshminarayana. This book was written in 1920s. In that book, the writer predicted the rising by a character like Alluri Seeta Rama Raju and the reality that follows after independence. The character which appears like the hero is killed after a few pages. Our writers stopped writing such kinds of novels decades back.

I observed that Telugu films got routine by late 80’s. A film that rekindled my interest in Telugu films was Anand.

I wanted to produce films and I spread the word around. KNT Sastri made a film called Tiladanam that won national award. He said that he has a script made for Soundarya. Since she is not there anymore he could not make it. He asked me if I can invest in that project. I asked him to send me the soft copy of script over mail. I got interested in it. He already has somebody investing in it and he only asked for 1/4th of the budget. Later on I was asked if I could fund the entire project. Since it was in my budget, I told him that I would provide investment in 3 phases. That is how Kamli was made. It won Nandi and National award.

I did some online courses on filmmaking and attended a few seminars on San Francisco Film Society. I used to go to film festivals in USA and used to participate in panel discussions. I came up with an anti-terror subject. I sent a 3-page story line to Abhilash Pillai (director of National School of Drama). He liked the project and suggested his student Himanshu Desai. They came to Hyderabad and did research for 15 days. That film has the backdrop of Telangana razak movement. The story will take place in Hyderabad and Delhi. Since it requires huge budget, I kept that project aside and worked on another subject.

I am a fan of thrillers. I liked films like Exorcist, Shining, Sixth Sense etc. All these films are engaging. I wrote the story and screenplay and gave it to Tanikella Bharani. He liked it immensely and suggested that I should direct the film.

What is the synopsis of Shh…?
This story is about a small village. A girl dies in an accident because of the foolishness of a couple of youngsters in that village. A doctor and his wife rent the house in which the girl used to stay. The rest of the story is about what happens next.

Tell us about the production of Shh..?
We shot the entire film in 45 days. For a few scenes, we used two units. There are two songs in this film composed by Vidya and Swarna each. It is a compact film with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. The film has a brisk second half.

Are you inspired by any Hollywood film?
No. This film is based on an English novel written in 1958. I have given the credits to the author in this film. I don’t want to reveal the name of the novel now. You will come to know after the release of the film.

Why did you titled the film as Shh…?
I wanted to title it as Alajadi. But it’s already taken by K Raghavendra Rao. I titled this film as ‘Shh…’ because the death of the girl is hushed up.

You did not work for any film earlier. How did you manage making this film?
I had the bound script and planned it well. The only component in missed is to do a storyboard. I have given a copy of the script to all the artists and technicians before hand. Editor Ravindra Babu said that he worked over 100 films and none of his earlier directors gave him a bound script.

When is the release of the film?
Shh… will be releasing on 23rd January 2009. It is releasing in seven centers in AP – Hyderabad, Kurnool, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Vizag, Guntur and Rajahmundry. In USA, Shh.. is releasing in San Jose.

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