Continuing the lockdown interview series, today, we bring you an exclusive interview with super talented director Venky Kudumula. In a heartful conversation, we spoke to him about his career, future plans, Nithin, family support, Chiranjeevi’s compliment, and much more. Here is the transcript.
Bheeshma is now on OTT platforms. How is the response?
I feel I broke the jinx of second film success and never imagined such a response to my film. I am getting the same kind of feedback that I got during the release. The family audience and kids are loving the film which is a big compliment for me.
Biggest compliments you got for the film?
Post the film’s release, Venkatesh garu messaged me and said that he heard a lot about the film and will watch it soon. Post watching the film, he personally called me and spoke to me for a long time. What was more surprising was when Tamil hero Shiva Karthikeyan called and told me how much he loved the movie. All these compliments made me feel so happy.
About Chiranjeevi’s appreciation for the film?
I still remember the day when I watched the film with him. During the interval, I remember him telling me “Bhale twist icchyavayya interval bang lo”. I was so scared because that is not the twist and was wondering how he would react. The moment he watched it, he slapped my thigh and said “Wow I did not expect this Venky. Superb ga Chesyav”. That was a big moment for me. Things went to another level when he told me to write something for him in the future.
Bheeshma a big break for Nithin. How was his response?
I go a long way back and have known Nithin from the day I worked on A.Aa with Trivikram garu. Right through the making, he was tensed, and once when the film was a big hit, I was so personally happy for him. Even to date, he messages me and tells that this hit has changed his life and made his family also very happy. I owe a lot to Nithin.
Chalo was a breakthrough film for Naga Shourya. Why did you have problems with him?
Firstly, I need to thank him for giving me an opportunity with Chalo. I had a wonderful experience working with him. About problems with him, I am over those now and there is nothing much to talk about it.
About your background?
I am from a small village called Aswaraopeta in Khammam district and my father is a farmer. I have three sisters and always wanted to become a director. I came to Hyderabad with the same purpose and did my masters here. Post that, I joined Teja garu for Neeku Naku Dash Dash. Since then, I have worked on several films with the likes of Yogi, and Trivikram garu before I got my big break.
The comedy quotient is very strong in your films. Will you only do comedy films?
Yes. In real life too, I am a very fun-loving person and am restless. Though I hesitate to speak in front of others, I am a very funny person. Maybe that is being incorporated in my films. I feel light-hearted humor with good emotions is my forte. I want to try different things but will not experiment much. I strongly feel that there are makers who can make such films in different genres. I am taking one film at a time.
How do you get ideas? Do you watch a lot of films and who is your inspiration?
I have always been a huge fan of Chiranjeevi garu and he was the main reason for me to enter films. I don’t watch world cinema and other language films that much. Coming to the ideas, I imagine them after taking a cue from real-life situations. I made Chalo when the Telangana-AP state was getting divided. I got the idea from there and for Bheeshma, so much was being said about Organic farming and I set the film into that.
Any director who created an impact on you during your growing years?
I learned a lot from the directors who worked with Chiranjeevi garu. Apart from that, Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi was the film that stuck in my head and made me a big fan of Puri Jagan. After working with Trivikrma sir, my perception about cinema changed and I learned so much from him which also rubs off in my films.
Tell us about your most emotional moment in the industry?
It was after the release of Chalo. My parents were watching the film and my sister called and told me “Theater lo Andaru Navuutunnaru Amma Nanna Tappa” They were quite emotional and were enjoying my success and this was the most memorable moment in my life.
I have commitments for three films as of now and each of them is with UV Creations and Mythri Movie Makers. I am currently writing a script and once the story is ready, I will approach the star depending on the story.
What have you been doing during the lockdown?
I am single and live alone in Hyderabad. Just before the Janatha curfew happened, I came to my native place. I have nothing much to do and am spending time with my family. I have started writing the character graph for the hero of my next film.
With that, we ended our interview with Venky Kudumula and wished him the best of luck for his future projects.
Interviewed by Avad
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