Feature films and me
My stint in Tollywood/Telugu film industry was in 2003 when I joined Sekhar Kammula’s team to do their PR and Publicity for their film, Anand. I however, ended up being part of their production team and every other thing I could dream of. I also did their Hindi dialogues (!!), but the Hindi version never got released. The telugu film, went on to become the first ever Telugu crossover film, that literally swept almost all the Nandi awards in 2004 (the most prestigious film awards in South India/equivalent to the National awards). ANAND was my first and last stint in the movie business.
The team got written about in The Hindu.
The Amigos are all charged up about the film
Photo: K. Gajendran
AT THE crack of dawn Amigos Creations’ Anand team meets to chalk out the plan of action for the day - casting, location hunting, scheduling, music, set construction, decoration, hiring equipment - all that goes into pre-production. With less than a month to go for the film to roll, they work at a feverish pace, doing a 24x7. “Despite the stress, there is no tension. We are like a family working together. We call ourselves Amigos,” says Anish Kuruvilla, executive producer.
Having worked with several filmmakers for six years before he associated with Sekhar Kammula, since Dollar Dreams (he is seen on screen as Sreenu ), Kuruvilla says, “Unlike others in the film industry, Sekhar has no qualms of being himself and does films purely based on instinct. What I have learnt while working with him, more than film making, is the way a film should be made — getting the ingredients in place, integrity, keeping your feet on the ground, creating believable , things that matter and a message for people. There is a thought behind everything Sekhar does.”
“I am here more because of Sekhar. I read the script and liked it. I believed in what he was doing,” agrees Aparna Das-Sadhukhan. A student of Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC), Pune, Aparna has earlier worked with O&M and Mudra.
One look at Kammula’s team and you know he means it when he says “it is a thoroughly professional set up and ideal for people interested in doing their internship in filmmaking.” Others in the team include Praveena, again from SIMC, who has worked on Surf Excel and Kit Kat commercials, Sai Kiran, who has worked for commercials and development documentaries in the State, Tyronne who has made corporate films, music videos (he edited a 12-minute Anoop Jalota video to a crisp four minutes ) and Aishwarya, a student of Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore, who has been a journalist and has an interior designing background. “The lead heroine has an artistic bent of mind. With that brief, I am looking into the interiors to come up with an arty set, she explains.
And for that hip visual effect to go with the storyline, Kammula has roped in Aravind Jashua, the NIFTian, as the costume designer for the film. For the audio element, music director Radha Krishna (background score for Silence Please and Hero, which have been chosen for the forthcoming International Children’s Film Festival) is an apt choice. His background in Carnatic and Hindustani streams is perfect for the five semi-light classical and a racy track with lyrics written by `Veturi’ Sundara Ramamurthy (who has worked with Ilayaraja and other music directors).
Sans any advertising, it was word of mouth and referrals that got the team in place. “Sekhar’s personality tends to get likeminded people together. It is a young team with high energy levels, great enthusiasm, and a greater degree of motivation,” says Kuruvilla. The average age of the team, incidentally, is 24. “About 85 per cent of the primary audience will be of their age. How would you like a 65-year old making a film for the young?” demands Kuruvilla. He obviously has not heard of all the super cool 60 something filmmakers lighting up the marquee!