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Chitchat with Aswini Dutt
nitin - venkat

May 6, 2008

C Aswini Dutt known for big blockbusters and extravagant production values in films is growing strength to strength with every film he produces. Aswini Dutt has the distinction of introducing successful young heroes like Mahesh Babu and Ram Charan Teja. He also gave consecutive industry hits with Chiranjeevi like Jagadeka Veerudu, Athiloka Sundari, Choodalani Vundi and Indra. His latest film Kantri will hit screens on May 9 and in an exclusive tete-e-tete with idlebrain he shares the story behind the making of Kantri. Here are the excerpts –

Tell us about the making of Kantri?
This project was confirmed even before Chirutha was materialized. We had been searching for the right director during the shooting of Yamadonga. It was Puri Jagan who suggested the name of Mehar Ramesh. I knew Maher for a long time and realized that he has the worth and talent to become a big director. I told NTR to consider Meher and NTR encouraged him. We liked the story narrated by Mehar Ramesh. Myself and NTR are very happy with the final product. I am proud to introduce another big director to the Telugu film industry in the form of Mehar Ramesh.

You have not done music launch and you maintained low profile for Kantri. Is it a strategy?
Yes. When Adavi Ramudu was produced, people commented that the title sounds like that of a dubbing film. When Shiva was made, people commented that some engineer is directing the film. There was no hype for Pokiri film before release. Some films should be hyped and it suits for those films. But some films should deliberately be maintained low profile and Kantri is one among them. Did you notice some of the recent films for which the producer hyped? The pre-release scene for Kantri is like 'anni vunna vistari anigi vuntundi'. On May 9th, Kantri will join the league of Adavi Ramudu, Shiva and Pokiri.

We had put in lot of efforts in making Kantri. I spent Rs 20 crores on Kantri and we shot real live action sequences in Hong Kong. And I had been in the industry for the last 33 years. And as a producer I have clear-cut idea about how to promote a film depending on its theme, genre and content. A film of Kantri type should be maintained low profile and it would catch up like a wildfire once the movie is released on 9 May.

Tell about NTR performance in this film?
NTR gave a power-packed performance. The Kantri character will take NTR close to youth. Kantri will increase the span of NTR. NTR will never have to look back once Kantri is released.

How many prints you are releasing the film with?
Since its peak time in summer, I want everybody to watch the film in A/C theater with good DTS system. Hence we picked only A/C theaters with DTS sound systems. We are releasing Kantri worldwide with 300 prints.

What are going to be highlights of Kantri?
NTR performance, narration, music, taking of Ramesh and production values.

Tell us about Mehar Ramesh?
It was his idea to highlight NTR in the title kaNTRi. He has an eye for minute details. All six songs are picturised in exquisite manner. Mehar Ramesh will leave his mark in the film.

Don't you think it is a nice gesture for NTR to accept Mehar Ramesh – a close relative of Chiranjeevi – as his film director?
The rivalry is only among the fans. But Chiranjeevi and NTR never had any rivalry. Entire Telugu film industry is like a closely knitted family. We all have to work hard in tandem to make good films. It was NTR who supported Mehar more than me. There is a great understanding between them. Kantri will act like a tonic to the fans of NTR and the fans Nandamuri dynasty.

Tell us about your projects with Rajnikanth and film with Krish (Gamyam fame)?
After working with Mehar Ramesh, I decided that I should work with new blood. I was supposed to produce Krish's debut film, but it did not work out. Krish came up with a universal subject with great concept and story idea. We will be making this film with a big hero. The cast and crew information will be revealed later.

When I was making Kantri, Rajnikant and P Vasu called me and gave me the great honor of producing the Telugu version of Kuselan. It will be like a pancha bhaksha paramannam (full meals) to movie lovers. Rajnikant is the all India superstar and I am proud to be producing that film. I don't need any more recognition than that. Year 2008 is going to be the most significant year for Vyjayanthi banner.

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Gangaraju Gunnam
Rama Rajamouli
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YVS Chowdary
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Sania Mirza
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KV Ramana IAS
Vikram 2
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Satya Krishnanan
Prabhas 1
MRV Prasad
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Devi Sri Prasad
AM Ratnam 2
Sonu Sood
Ram Gopal Varma 3
Mahesh Babu 2
Vikram 1
Mohan Babu 1
KS Rama Rao 1
Dil Raju
Manyam Ramesh
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