If a princess is available for free, there wouldn’t have been a Mario game at all. If you can get a princess for free, any tom dick and harry would give a shot but if you have to invest your life into it, not anyone might give a damn! Not at least for the second or third time - Filmmaking is something similar!
But, for winning the hand of the princess called ‘Good Cinema’, he doesn’t mind voyaging any number of times and even becoming the “foot soldier” of the mission. He is none other than Praveen Sattaru. With utmost passion towards filmmaking and with a single point agenda of making a good cinema and being the change himself, he has made Life Before Wedding (LBW), Routine Love Story and now he is coming up with not one but 8 heart tugging stories in the name of Chandamama Kathalu. In a spacious office, here he sits like a monk reading some holy book but when we tapped him, he’s got many lesser known stuff about his life, movies, Pawan Kalyan and Lakshmi Manchu as well. Read On…
Leaving a lucrative career in IBM, US, what drove you towards films and filmmaking?
[Smiles] Obviously the innate interest in films and the dreary monotonous job were the main reasons. But one particular film pushed the envelope. Those were the days where I would travel miles along with friends to watch a Telugu film like any other NRI movie buff even in rat infested theatres. When I watched the movie Bangaram (2006), I was wondered big time, how could one make such a film with a big star like Pawan Kalyan. On the return flight from Minnesota, I wrote an action thriller in four hours [though with no technical knowledge about film scripting]. Of course that did not materialize yet.
Then, how did Life Before Wedding happen?
This should be heights of irony! In 2007, even before LBW, I thought of making a biopic kind of film based out of my Grandpa Mr. Satyanarayanagaru’s life experiences. He ran a school for the dumb, deaf and differently abled kids in Vizayanagaram. I even prepared a 200 page script out of the 60hr footage I shot there. I always wanted either K. Viswanath garu or RGV to direct that film but unfortunately even this did not materialize. So in 2009, on the way back to the U.S, I finished LBW script in the 18hr flight but this time fortunately, I could make the film (Smiles)
We heard there were bitter experiences with your debut film LBW. What was it?
Well, yes but I would rather look at it as a precious learning curve. I produced and directed the film with no prior experience in filmmaking. I released the film amidst too much negativity around me and adding to the music, someone put the film on the net. Well, apart from the technicalities and practical lessons of filmmaking, I learnt some crucial Do’s and Don’ts of film distribution. So that way, LBW is precious to me!
Then, any lessons that Chandamama Kathalu taught you?
[Laughs] Well may be I can list it after a couple of months from now. But, with Chandamama Kathalu I wish to satisfy all the lovers and naysayers of both LBW and Routine Love Story. However, one thing is true – Here many want to benefit out of you, you need to be shrewd enough to bring out your baby. I’m glad I could put to test some promotional lessons learnt taught by LBW.
Tell us about Lakshmi Manchu in the film…
Both on and off-screen, I haven’t met a genuine and natural actor like Lakshmi Manchu. And she is going to be at her original and natural best in this film as a super model ‘Lisa Smith’. And all the so called “bold” acts of smoking and drinking were pretty much art of her character in the film. I can say one thing for sure – All her haters will start loving her after seeing this film.
What about Naresh and Aamani controversial lip-lock?
[Smiles] Well, I kept telling CK is an unconventional film with conventional emotions. And the intimate scenes were part of their story and a requisite too. Both Naresh and Aamani were the key pillars of my film. Though I had to face the music from the censor board, I know I’m touching the untouched and it will pay off.
Is it true that you had a bitter lip towards Censor Board?
[Smiles] Yes I do and I don’t shy away from voicing out my opinion. I’m not happy with the attitude of the Censor board towards filmmakers and their tenuous directives. I was taken aback when I was asked to remove the word “thokka” from Routine Love Storywith no proper convincing reason. Well, I believe it is high time they should come up with a complete list of A, U and U/A words. Even they should seriously think about including a separate category called ‘18+’ in film certification.
What do you have to say about two important contemporary buzz words – Pawan Kalyan and Hrudaya Kaleyam
(Laughs) I was always a great admirer of Pawan Kalyan, but not open though. Be it - the zeal, vigor, charm or there is some spark that attracts one towards him. I liked his first speech a lot and I want to contribute to his party to the best of my capabilities. Well, Hrudaya Kaleyam is a different genre film and it was promoted well too. It was an awesome idea and I’m glad that we are trying something new!
Tell us some exclusive lesser known facts of Praveen Sattaru
Hmmm… he used to paint as a kid [I used to paint when I was kid but my mom was a good painter]. He was good at art and sport. He was a brat in childhood and U.S changed him a lot. [Smiles] And my wife is my biggest support system.
Routine question though…Any dream projects?
Yes, I have a period film I wish to make some day.
Your favorite heroine in the contemporary Telugu cinema?
I adored Jayaprada in my teens but in today’s Telugu cinema, I like Tamannah but if I have to go by performance, my choice would be Lakshmi Manchu undoubtedly.
Last thoughts about Chandamama Kathalu…
Well, I and my team toiled a lot to bring this film before you. I should thank my team for this. If you like the promotional stuff, please watch the film but after watching it, I urge you to share your feedback on any platform. You can even directly send us your feedback with the ‘Chandamama Kathalu’ App. Please make use of it.
Any Upcoming projects…?
Well, right now I’m completely occupied with CK but yes…there is a script written an year back, yet another feel good ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ kind film based on 3 cousins.
Good luck and Best wishes for Chandamama Kathalu
Thank You Very much!