usa special
hyd scene

You are at Home > Celebs > Interview > Director Sekhar Kammula
Interview with Sekhar Kammula
Date: February 17, 2010, Hyderabad
sekhar kammula

Sekhar Kammula keeps shifting genres and proves himself all the time. His films are artistic and at the same time draw good box office collections. After delivering a thumping blockbuster Happy Days, Sekhar Kammula is back with a political drama titled ‘Leader’ which introduces RaNa in the title role. caught up with him for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts -

How did you come up with the story idea for Leader?
That was the time when I came out of Happy Days euphoria and planning for my next project, which is the Hindi version of Happy Days. I was watching TV, the run up for the elections were happening. It is a fact that no change has been happening in politics for decades. Politics has become a highly sophisticated business that is being run of people who has no proper qualifications. Anybody can enter in politics and become a political leader. And the people are looking for a change and looking for the right leader.

That is when the story idea of Leader stuck me and I completed the script in 3 months. I wanted to direct the film right away so that I could release it before the elections. I think that the story idea of Leader came from the wish list of voters and citizens.

After preparaing the script, I realised that it needs a big budget and bigger canvas. I need a big producer. I got to know producer Guhan (AVM) through Marthand K Vankatesh and he expressed interest in working with me. I narrated the script of Leader and he liked it immensely. I wanted Guhan to be the producer because I wouldn’t have any political pressures on me to be biased towards any ideology/party because producer is from outer state.

I had two options when it comes to casting. One is to cast a big commercial hero and other one is to cast a new comer. A big hero can slap his thigh and convey the emotion. But my kind of hero is a messiah of masses and he evokes emotions through his thinking. I decided that the subject will be conveyed well if I have new comer as hero. I saw RaNa a few times and it suddenly stuck me that he could do the lead role. Coincidentally, he was also planning to get into acting. I narrated the subject to him and he loved it. It was in December 2008. I wanted to start the shoot immediately and release it before elections. But things got delayed due to perfectioning the script, for working in the detailing, logistics and set work.

Did you do any research for this movie?
No, I wrote this script based on the awareness I have on politics. To be honest, I did more research on Happy Days movies to see if the current youth is different from my days by visiting lots of colleges. I realized that politics and politicians are the same for decades.

The political scenario had a sea change in the last one year. Did you make any changes to the script?
I had the perfect script in December 2008 and I haven’t changed a bit in it. However, a couple of things in the script happened in real. The death of chief minister and a couple other incidents happened during the shoot. These incidents were penned much before. Then Telangana movement started. I wanted to show this movie to YSR and seek his opinion as he is the most popular leader of masses. At present, our AP state is headless and it lacks leadership. Students have become insecure in this current situation and they are worried about their future. Leader film addresses such real issues and gives a solution as well. Leader film has become more relevant now than the time when I scripted it.

You delivered a blockbuster Happy Days. You could have made another youth film and made money. Why did you venture into directing such risky subjects like Leader?
Anand movie is a romantic film. Romantic films were made earlier, but I made Anand reflecting my own sensibilities. Hence Anand was appreciated by one and all. Lots of college love stories came in Telugu in the past. Most of the stories deal with immature love stories, elopements and teasing/degrading the teachers. I made Happy Days with my own sensibilities and it appealed to everybody. Likewise, many political films came in the past. But Leader is going to be a different film in typical Telugu political genre movies. I don’t think I am doing any risk, I am just trying to be different in the time-tested genre.

RaNa looks are little unusual for a regular commercial hero. What is the reason for casting him?
He is tall and has a spectacular voice. He has rugged smartness in his looks and honesty in his face. This film needs that kind of look. Leader is a character driven story. The first victory for this character is the feedback we got for the first poster release featuring silhouette (click here too see). RaNa completely justified this big canvas film with his performance though he is a newcomer.

The music of Leader is little slow and is not as good as your earlier movies?
Leader’s music is not a standard album. It is not possible to compose Happy Days and Kotha Bangaru Lokam kind of songs for this movie as it’s a political drama. There is no scope for such music. There is only one romantic song in the album. Rest of the songs are situational. I think the music will be more appealing after Leader’s release because there is lot of emotional content attached to the songs in the movie. The songs of Leader will infuse patriotism into people. Music strength of Leader is in background score.

I heard that you have problem with the runtime of your movies. You had to edit/delete a large chunk of content in the last minute. Is it true?
It happened only for two of my movies. One is Anand and another one is Leader. The initial version of Anand came up to 3 hours and 40 minutes. We had to edit it to 2 hour and 50 minutes. I included the longer version as director’s cut in the DVD. The total runtime for Leader movie came around 3 hours and 20 minutes. We had to trim it to 2 hours and 45 minutes. Reason for Anand’s excessive length was because I loved that character. Leader’s excessive length is due to the fact that I tried to narrate too many things because there is lot of content in the movie.

Your movies have lot of importance to heroines. How important are two heroines in this movie?
Both heroines play their part in the journey of leader. Heroines have emotional content. However, the screen space for heroines is less in Leader compared to my earlier movies.

What are the technical highlights of the movie?
Vijay C Kumar has done great work just like he did for my earlier movies. Thota Tharani’s art direction is completely natural. It is a challenge to Marthand K Venkatesh because we tried new editing pattern and he did extremely well.

What is the gist of Leader?
Leader is a journey of a person who evolves from an ordinary man to a politician and then to a leader. Leader is a political drama.

Why should people watch Leader?
Leader questions the current political system in an intelligent way and provides a solution too. It is an honest film. For me, Leader is beyond a typical paisa vasool movie. Being a citizen of India and being a filmmaker, it gives me immense satisfaction for making Leader by mixing moral obligation with commerciality.

What is your gut feel on the movie?
All the insiders who watched Leader are extremely happy. It will be a great film. I am eager to see how it appeals to the average moviegoer, because he is the one who makes a movie like this work at the box office. Leader is a film of social relevance with great performances in a new genre.

Other Interviews
Richa Gangopadhyay (Actress)
Seenu Vytla (Director)
Krishna Vamsi (Director)
Srikanth (Actor)
Sravanthi Ravi Kishore (Producer)
Ram (Actor)
Chaitanya Dantuluri (Actor)
Chakri Toleti (Director)
Nara Rohith (Actor)
Senthil Kumar (Cinematographer)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
Anand Ranga (Director)
Marthand K Shankar (Director)
Siddharth (Actor)
Raj Pippalla (Director)
Nani (Actor)
Deva Katta (Director)
Raj & DK (Directors)
Surya (Actor)
Shraddha Das (Actress)
Mahesh Shankar (Music director)
Lakshmi Manchu (Actress)
Siddharth (Actor)
Sushant (Actor)
Sharwanand (Actor)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
JD Chakri (Director)
Tamanna (Actress)
Kishore Kumar (Director)
Rahjul Nambiar (Visual Effects Supervisor)
Deepa Chander (Cosumes designer)
Anushka (Actress)
Hari Charan Prasad (Director)
Colors Swati (Actress)
P Ravi Shankar (Dubbing artist)
Anushka (Actress)
Sonia (Actress)
Usha (singer)
Anish Kuruvilla (Director)
Gowtam Menon (Director)
Genelia (Actress)
Kamal Kamaraju (Actor)
Kishore (Actor)
Harsha Reddy (Director n producer)
Bindu Madhavi (Actress)
Shweta Basu Prasad (Actress)
Dil Raju (Actor)
Santhi Chandra (Actor)
Teja (Director n producer)
Jeevi (Critic)
Lakshmikanth Chenna (Director)
Manoj Manchu (Actor)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Sekhar Kmmula (Producer)
Ravi Krishna (Actor)
Sunitha (Playback singer)
VN Aditya (Diector & Producer)
Nallamalupu Bujji (Producer)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Chandra Sekhar (Actor)
Raahul (Actor)
Dil Raju (Producer)
Gopichand (Actor)
Siva (Souryam director)
Venkatesh (Actor)
Mamata Mohandas (Actress)
Lakshmi Lahari (Actress)
Ramesh Varma (Director)
Samudra (Director)
Yogesh (Director)
Neha Thota (Child actress)
Srinivas Avasarala (Actor)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Kanmani (Director)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
PG Vinda (Cinematographer)
Madan (Director)
Bhavana (Heroine)
Bhargava (Producer)
Hari Yelleti (Director)
Krishnudu (Actor)
Kishore Ganji (Producer)
Ram Mohan (Producer)
Salim Panda (Actor)
Surekha Vani (Actress)
Manjari Fadniz (Actress)
Vishal (Actor)
A Raja Sekhar (Director)
Sridevi (Actress)
Sayaji Shinde (Actor)
Viswa Tej (Actor)
Geetha Madhuri (Playback Singer)
Namitha (Actress)
Sneha Ullal (Actress)
Prem Kumar Patra (Producer)
GV Prakash (Music director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Bharat (Child actor)
Malini Dasari (Cinematographer)
Rama Jogaiah Sastry (Lyricist)
Venkat (Hero)
Uday Kiran (Hero)
Sharwanand (Hero)
Ram (Hero)
Aditi Sharma (Heroine)
Nagur Babu (Mano) (Singer)
Sekhar Suri (Director)
Sindhu Menon (Heroine)
Vinu Thomas (Music director)
Nihal (Music director & Singer)
Nitin (Hero)
Smita (Pop singer)
Sonal Chauhan (Actress)
Raghu Kunche (Singer)
Udaya Bhanu (Anchor)
Meher Ramesh (Director)
Rao Ramesh (Actor)
Gopi Mohan (Writer)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Vara Mullapudi (Director)
Bhumika Chawla (Actress)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
Vijay C Kumar (Cinematographer)
Sekhar Kammula (Director)



emailabout usprivacy policycopy rightsidle stuff