I had the privilege to blab with Tollywood director Sri Kishore. He has directed three films in Tollywood: Sasesham, Bhoo and Devi Sri Prasad. I had the opportunity to work with him as a promotional writer for the film Devi Sri Prasad in 2017. Here are the excerpts from the interview with Sri Kishore.
Q. Could you tell us about your background?
A. I was born in Nalgonda, Telangana, India. It is a place filled with natural treasures. I did my schooling in Nalgonda and later finished Electrical Engineering in Bellary, Karnataka. After that I started working in the Electrical transformers industry but my passion towards cinema pulled me towards it and I decided to pursue my dream.
I could not stop thinking about movies and I wanted to create my own segment and name in the film industry. I thought more towards human emotions and began to write simple stories.
I made my first short film called “My Short Film” which is about a boy who tries to make a short film using simple equipment at home. My other short film was a story about a boy called “Ali” who imagines himself as a superhero which makes him help others in a daring manner even though he knows that he is not a superhero.
The third short film “Jana Gana Mana” showed the poverty situation in the country even after we getting our 50 years of Independence.
“Bhavana Krishna” is my other short film which is about a young man who carries female feelings. All these shorts got selected for screening at the Hyderabad International Film Festival.
I am also into painting and dancing since my childhood. I learnt dance formally at the age of 12. Dancing set the stage for my future as it helped me gain creative expression and confidence to enter films.
In 2007, I finished Film Acting and Direction course at “Satyam Yabi film institute”, Hyderabad. At the same time, I had worked as an assistant video editor for a TV channel and for few movies in Telugu Film Industry. In 2008 I got an opportunity to work in Hong Kong as a Bollywood Dance Teacher, thus I moved to Hong Kong and got settled.
Q. From Sasesham to Devi Sri Prasad, how was your experience of directing the films?
A. I personally feel that every time when I make film, I learn so many new things. It was a great experience in directing films and also in marketing the films. I also feel that each and every day there is new strategy which is bursting up in market and one needs to move in accordance to it.
Q. What are the factors which pushed you to enter the film industry?
A.When I was a child, just like other countryside boys, I enjoyed swimming in the river, catching insects, climbing trees or just lying there looking at the endless sky. During school holidays, I would go to my uncle’s cinema hall and handle the projectors. I found that movies are fascinating! It amazed me that movies could capture beautiful landscapes, record animal sounds, project human emotions and tell stories. From there on, movies became my love and passion.
Q. Given a chance, is there anything that you would like to change in your films: Sasesham, Bhoo and Devi Sri Prasad?
A. Honestly, I would like to change a lot in all the three movies. There is lot of scope to narrate all the three stories in a different way if given another chance (laughs). Once we finish making a film, then we can clearly see all our mistakes and sometimes we wish that one particular scene could have been shot in another manner.
Sasesham can be crisper.
Bhoo ending could have been changed a bit.
Devi Sri Prasad (DSP) can be changed to a new line wherein the girl starts killing and the police start their investigation to dig out the mystery behind the killings.
Q. How easy is it for new film enthusiasts to enter the film industry?
A. I don’t believe now that movie is something that must be screened on a big white cloth. There are a lot of online platforms right now, making it very easy to make a film and get recognized to enter the film industry.
Q. Who are your close friends in the industry?
A. As I am settled and living in Hong Kong, it’s a little difficult to always stay in contact, thus making me keep limited contact with everyone. But most of the time I talk and share ideas only with my team members. Besides that, on a professional and personal front, actor Dhanraj is a good family friend.
Q. How do you manage your work in India by living in Hong Kong?
A. I really don’t know and to be honest my film works move faster only when I’m in Hong Kong. I just have my own schedule every day and I just follow it.
Quick Shot Round:
- Favorite Actor/Actress:
Tollywood: Vijay Devarakonda, Rahul Ramakrishna and Mahanati Savitri
Bollywood: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kangna Ranaut and Radhika Apte
Hollywood: Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Ben Kingsley
- Favorite Films: Gandhi, RGV’s Satya, Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 1 and 2), Maa Bhoomi, Mayabazaar
One word about the following individuals:
Dhanraj: My Big Brother
Pooja Ramachandran: Good friend
Mahesh Kathi: I’m not interested in constructive criticism
Tollywood: My birthplace as a Director
Bahubali: Iconic film for Telugu cinema. Hats Off to Rajamouli
Vishwa Virat (his son): I love him beyond reason
Dancing: I enjoy it until my legs starting paining (smiles)
Direction: I love it
Q. If you are given a chance to remake a film, what would that be? And, whom would you cast in the film?
A. (Smiles) Many ideas running in my mind right now but to tell you one, it would be Ip Man with Pawan Kalyan.
Q. Any advice or suggestions you would like to give newcomers?
A. Focus on your dreams, but how? Just make your dreams turn into actions.
Q. What are your upcoming projects?
A. I am currently working on a bank robbery story based in Hong Kong and also a Chinese love story which again is to be shot in Hong Kong.
Some words for Hyderabad Local:
Firstly, Hyderabad is my favorite city. I heard that Hyderabad Local page is not just focused on one topic but it is covering interesting happenings in and around Hyderabad and focusing on giving platform for people to express their art. It’s really a good initiative and the best move. I wish good luck to Sandeep Rao and Umesh for creating this online magazine.
Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu (Sandy)
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