#Behind the camera! Director Hari Kolagani: I fell in love with cinema when I was very young | Telugu Movie News
When did your career in the film industry begin?
I was born and raised in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. I did my post-diploma in Master of Computer Applications (MCA) but I have always been passionate about cinema since my university studies. Instead of joining the job after finishing my studies, I started working as an assistant director for filmmaker Shyam Prasad Reddy Garu. I worked on several movies made under Shyam Prasad Reddy’s Mallemala Entertainments banner – one of them is Anushka Shetty’s “Arundhati” and I was one of the associate directors of the movie. I also participated in discussions on the story of several films.
When did you have your first chance as a director?
After struggling for several odd years, I got the opportunity to make a movie called “Shikaaru”. I told a story to distributor Babji Garu, and he made the decision to produce the film. This is his first production company. I thought the reason for my delay in getting an opportunity as a director was the change in the Telugu film industry. Be it Bollywood or Kollywood, a trend of coming of age movies started, and audiences accepted this trend in the early 2000s. But when it came to Tollywood, it was too late. Telugu audiences started to accept the new trend in late 2000s. Many producers didn’t encourage my ideas back then because new talent was not always encouraged. Things are very different now than before.
Who is your inspiration to become a director?
As I said earlier, I fell in love with cinema when I was very young. I would go see any kind of movie. But I was inspired to become a filmmaker after seeing a film by director Shankar. His film “Gentleman” changed me. I lived in a sort of stupor for two days after watching the film. Then I went in depth with his films. After coming to the film industry, I started liking movies more than people.
What is your opinion of the new ticket prices issued by the AP government?
Either the government or the film industry aren’t technically thinking about ticket prices. In my opinion, it would be good to have variable rates for films. There should be a difference between small movies and big budget movies. Ticket prices do not have to be the same for both. People would go out on weekends but not on weekdays and there is no significant attendance for medium and low budget films, especially on weekdays. And many shows are canceled due to low attendance. However, middle-class people cannot afford high ticket prices.
Tell us about ‘Shikaaru’
“Shikaaru” is a complete comedy that tells the story of a married woman finding love outside her marriage. Rules in India have often been different for men and women. But I think the rules should be the same for both. The human rights of men and women are equally respected. The film points the finger at extramarital affairs, reveals that women are not rare pieces of meat and that a woman’s desire is as important as a man’s. The film will focus on situational comedy – I drew inspiration from the screenplays of “Pokiri” by Mahesh Babu, “Patas” by Nandamuri Kalyanram and “Arundhati” by Anushka Shetty when writing the story for my film.
What are the attractions of your film?
I have confidence in my film because of the star cast. My faith was strengthened when Garu Kannada Kishore came on board and words could not do justice to Sai Dhansika’s talent. She’s a good artist. Abhinav Medisetty, Tej Kurapati, Dheeraj Aathreya and Navakanth are talented actors, and you will see how they nail their characters on screen. We shot the film at Ramoji Film City for more than 20 days in a specially erected set. It’s huge for a small film to be shot in the city of the film, but we managed to do it. Sid Sriram sang a song, which will be one of the big highlights of the film. It was unveiled recently and struck a good chord with listeners. So, we have several attractions in my film, and I’m sure you’ll be amazed.
Sai Dhansika’s role in ‘Shikaaru’ contrasts with his previous films. So how did you convince her to play in the film?
I haven’t seen any Sai Dhansika movies so far. This is an advantage for me. I know she acted in ‘Kabali’ by Rajinikanth and a few other action movies. But I saw some of his photos, which were clicked early in his career. It was the girl next door I was looking for. I thought Sai Dhansika would be suited to play the character of an innocent housewife in ‘Shikaaru’, and I was set. Even she liked the character when I told her the story. The response to the trailer has been tremendous! Sai Dhansika will be seen at his comedic best in the film.