It was any other breezy evening, the same cool, cozy coffee shop and here is young promising filmmaker Hussain Sha Kiran discussing cinema especially his debut feature film Meeku Meere Maaku Meme (M2M2) with iQlik Movies. Two days to go for M2M2 release (June 17) and the young director is naturally tensed about the big day but his favorite cappuccino would keep him cool.
About Hussain Sha Kiran:
Out of the younger league of directors, Hussain Sha Kiran has already made an impressive mark in the short film industry under his banner Nakama Creations. His unique storytelling style and narrative has fetched him much deserving appreciation. The young filmmaker was credited by Sukumar for giving the story idea for Nannaku Prematho and now all set to make his directorial debut with a refreshing love story Meeku Meere Maaku Meme releasing this Friday (June 17). In a candid chat Hussain Sha talks all about M2M2, Allu Aravind, Sukumar, filmmaking and much more-
Hello Hussain Sha Kiran.. firstly congratulations on your first feature film!
Hi.. Thanks a lot!
Well, what is Meeku Meere Maaku Meme all about?
Meeku Meere Maaku Meme is about a diametrically opposite boy and girl finding a new world after falling love. I believe love is never about compromise but finding the right compatibility and M2M2 tries to tell the same. Though it belongs to the romcom genre the film may not be a laugh riot but we believed it would surely put a smile on the audience’s face. If they feel the honesty of the film then it is a great success for us!
When was it that you decided to take the big leap as a feature film director?
I and my team were indeed discussing many ideas earlier and it was in fact my team which gave me confidence in taking this big leap. Of course, Aravind’s sir contribution in this is indispensable.
How did you associate with a big personality like Allu Aravind for this film?
We happened to meet Allu Aravind garu through my friend Vinay’s father who works for Geetha Arts. Aravind sir saw our short films during the 2012 short film festival and we had a good rapport with him right from then. By that time, we already had a plan to do a feature film and shared our idea of making a feature film with funds out of our pockets. The Aravind garu asked to come up with a script and when he liked the line, he came forward to support us.
How difficult was it to get the final nod from him?
I narrated four different stories to him and Aravind sir actually liked another subject. But he wanted a light hearted film to be my debut flick and hence Meeku Meere Maaku Meme came into picture. Narration was never easy with him because I had to give a complete narration over two hours with a proper recording setup. Then I realized how important and clinical narration is.
Meeku Meere Maku Meme title – any inspiration from Missamma?
(Smiles) Of course it is Missamma! Well, we thought of titles like LOL, Premante Suluvukaduraa and Idhe‘Naa’ Premante earlier. But when we were watching Missamma film, that song and scene where Savitri garu teaches ANR garu stuck up in our mind. Then suddenly my friend Sirish (who wrote dialogues for M2M2) suggested the title. This title has all that defines and suits the theme and soul of our film. And even Aravind sir also gave a nod instantly!
With a strong backup and support from somebody like Allu Aravind, why did you choose newcomers instead of stars?
Well the idea was to go with newcomers only. Thanks to director Neelakantha garu for suggesting an exceptional actress like Avantika for the female lead. But finding our hero wasn’t so easy. Auditions didn’t yield the desired one and finally we met Tarun Shetty through a mutual friend. And frankly they both fit the bill like none.
Despite being popular as a short filmmaker, you came into limelight with Sukumar crediting you for Nannaku Prematho idea. What is Sukumar in your life?
Ah… Sukumar garu and Aravind garu are probably the best persons ever happened to me. Besides Aravind garu, Sukumar sir’s contribution is priceless. I went to meet him through Aravind sir and I only narrated him a basic line of Nannaku Prematho which basically had no father character in it. But it is really great of him to give me the credit despite his hardship in developing the script later for one and half years. He even gave me lot of tips and suggestions in narration style for Meeku Meere Maaku Meme. He is such a sweetheart!
One thing you learnt from these people:
Allu Aravind- Being humble
Sukumar- Lots to learn from him - Sensitive and a darling.
Your Team- Smiling at the worst scenario standing for what we believe throughout.
One word about your cast and crew:
Tarun Shetty- Easiest Irresponsible darling!
Avanthika- Matured Princess
Kireeti- Best buddy one should have in life
Jenny- Lovable angel
Sudheer- Sensible guy with stupid best friends
Shravan music Director- Sweet and super talented
DoP Vinay- My driving force
When did filmmaking creep into you?
(Smiles) As I said, I feel I’m a storyteller before a filmmaker and I used to narrate stories since childhood. It seems my father used to record my stories and I even used to bug people with my stories. I wrote a book based on a love story in intermediate which eventually got burnt in the Bhogi fires! So my passion to tell stories only grew with age and when I met more passionate madcaps like Kireeti, Vinay, Karthik at my job place, Nakama took birth and here I am.
What are the initial reactions for Meeku Meere Maaku Meme?
Aravind sir watched the first half and he was quite normal. But after the second half he congratulated us in his own trademark reserved style and said “we are distributing this film” – that was more than we expected. Sukumar sir gave us an extremely positive feedback which was a great boost for us. We also showed the film to a sample audience and almost everyone gave positive feedback.
A hypothetical question: If you were offered for Sukumar and Bunny at a time, whom would you opt for?
Well…I might ask Aravind sir for a suggestion (Laughs). But seriously I would go to Sukumar sir and he would eventually direct me to work with Bunny!
Do you have anything to share with your short film community?
Yes! Of course a lot!
*Start making films. Start jumping…it will not kill you.
*Make films for yourself
*Never worry about making first film
*Believe in ‘US’ than ‘ME’. It is always the team and better the team, greater the output.
Okay..thanks and wishing you success for M2M2!
Thank you so much!