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The Rediff Interview / K Sathyanarayana
Rama Naidu to give us Hope
Radhika Rajamani | August 18, 2006
He dabbled in many fields before venturing into what he liked most and wanted to be since childhood. K Sathyanarayana (Satish, as he is known) is set to make his debut as a director after being a photographer, event manager, designer and so on. His interest and passion lay in movies and he was able to get into it after many decades. Satish is trying to take the path less taken with Hope � a film set against the backdrop of education with a clarion call for people to wake up.
It may be his first film, but he has got Rama Naidu to act and none other than maestro Ilayaraja to compose the background score (there are no songs). The film, which looks at the lives of two protagonists, is set to release shortly. Excerpts from a conversation with Satish:
You are a fashion photographer-turned-filmmaker. What made you take up films?
I was interested in films since childhood and wanted to make them while in college. Owing to family pressure, I had to look after the family business. While doing so, I tried to come close to understanding cinema. Jayanth Paranji (who is now doing a children's film in Hindi) was a classmate of mine.
I shared a rapport with Ram Gopal Varma since the days he ran a video library. We used to discuss scenes and shots. Later, I joined an ad agency called Breeze, where I worked for about two years. Film is the highest form of creativity and I did smaller things to get there. I designed exhibitions and stalls. I then bought a camera and read books on photography. My brother always told me, if you want to do something, study it. So, I read books on photography and direction.
What inspired you to do Hope?
Within a few days of my daughter joining college, she came and told me that one of her seniors committed suicide because she was shifted from section A to B (the A section had the cream of students and the best teachers). On the surface, it seemed like a stupid reason. When I started probing and analysing this, I found the numbers of suicides to be quite large. So, I decided to write a script revolving around education. I wrote four scripts on the same subject. In the film, the heroine's sister commits suicide and the story is taken forward.
How did you convince Rama Naidu to act in it? Also, what about the rest of the cast?
As Hope is a message-oriented film, I looked for someone who could deliver the message. I thought of Rama Naidu because he comes from a film background -- an actor, producer, Guinness Book of Records holder and Member of Parliament. I wrote the script around Rama Naidu and Kalyani before approaching Rama Naidu. He asked me to go to somebody else, but I was persistent. I managed to narrate the story to him only on our fourth meeting. After hearing it, he gave me dates. Others in the cast include Venu, Ramchandra, Vizag Prasad and Radha Devi.
What does the film revolve around?
It tells us everything about the education system and is based on realistic events and facts. Unlike animals, we are a race that carries forward history. We need to leave something for future generations. If we don't do something about the education system, the country will be bankrupt. I want to spark off a debate through the film.
How did you get Dr Haranath to produce it?
Dr Haranath is a practicising doctor abroad. He is committed to making films and has produced five and acted in one too (Alex). I met him when I designed costumes for Premayanamaha. I needed a producer who would understand the cause and subject. He wants to pay back the country and gives opportunities to people through movies.
How did you get Ilayaraja to compose?
When I suggested his name, people told me I was mad. I knew I could do it though. I thought of making a CD of the film and showing it to him. I got his number, called and introduced myself. I felt I was walking into a temple when I stepped into his house. He asked me to show the film in a recording studio. After watching it, he said he would compose the score. I was stunned. Ilayaraja completed his task in six days. His music is the soul of the film. I am lucky to have worked with him.
What are your future projects like?
I am working on the first draft of my second film, which is in the genre of Munnabhai M.B.B.S. I have Nagarjuna in mind for the central role and I have a couple of ideas. I would also love to encourage people who come up with good stories.