The maverick is at it again, doing what he is known best for – drawing attention to himself! When he announced yet another film – Savitri – Ram Gopal Varma made sure people sat up and took notice. The theme, he said, was teenage fantasies.
Admittedly, it was about a 15-year-old boy’s infatuation towards a 25-year-old woman, and this led to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights take objection and issue an official memorandum seeking clarification. Somewhere down the line, outraged citizens thought it was a teacher being referred to, and this made teachers’ organisations too go up in arms.
Not to be easily rattled, the filmmaker shot off a reply replete with technicalities – that he was only a presenter of the film, that nowhere was it said that the subject was a teacher. After a week of social outrage, the issue reached a plateau. Mr.Varma said it was a film about the sexual awakening of a 15-year-old boy and his attraction to a 25-year-old neighbour.
Meanwhile, he found trouble from within his fraternity, what with Pavan Sadineni – a director who had registered a movie with the same title much before – raising objection. Mr. Sadineni claimed he had already signed up for the film to be produced by Neelima Tirumalasetty of Panja fame. The maverick promptly changed the movie’s name to Sridevi, a move that was easier done that said.
The filmmaker hit the news the same week, but this time for a product of his that people remember for all the right reasons: the Akkineni Nagarjuna-starrer Shiva, the cult film that celebrated its silver jubilee!
A game changer?
A new, unique model promises to provide a new lease of life to small and independent film-makers, whose movies lack an ensemble star cast.
The makers of four movies – Parampara, Deva, Malli Radoyi…Life and Thoka Chukka have come together to promote and release their respective movies.
And the man spearheading the initiative is N. Balwanth Singh of start-up Kauphy Talkies. Mr. Singh, who is involved in branding and releasing the movies, says the model cuts down expenditure right the promotion stage onwards.
“The audio release functions are a grand affair here, and expensive. But we organised a single event where the audio of all movies were released and each producer saved up to Rs.10 lakh. To drastically reduce promotion costs, every visual trailer as well as movie poster will market all these four movies. This way we are not compromising on promotions either.”
Since the four movies belonged to different genres, it was an added advantage while going in for a theatrical release, Mr. Singh says.
“We have planned [it] in such a way that all four movies will be screened at different timings in a single day in one theatre. So while Parampara is a family movie, and we will screen it at a convenient time for families, the youth-oriented movies will be released in the morning or afternoon.”
Mr. Singh said if this model succeeds, he would want to replicate it for more movies. WhileParamapara stars senior actor Naresh, Deva is a romantic comedy with Charmme in the lead. Malli Radoy.. Life is about farmer suicides and Thoka Chukka is a film woven around the lives of techies.