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'No heroine is versatile in India today'

October 24, 2008 12:00 IST

Telugu film director Mohankrishna Indraganti was in his element during a Rediff Chat on Wednesday. The filmmaker, who struck gold with his first film Grahanam, and later on with Maya Bazaar and Ashta Chamma, chatted about his films and why making a comedy is serious work.

For those who missed the entertaining chat, here's what transpired:

Mohankrishna Indraganti says, Hi there

VK asked, Again, My heartiest wishes and congratulations to your triumph! Its not just your victory ut I feel its all ours! Being our classmate and school mate, we are lucky to have you! God Bless you! Do good films!
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers,  Thanks. Am I your classmate? Expand your name please.

asminox asked, Are you in any way related to Sri Hanumacchastri
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I am. I am his grandson!

Ravindra asked, Hi...I swa the Movie 'Ashta Chemma'.really nice movie.U r direction is so good.I would like to see ur movie with Victory Venky.I hope you both can make a good combo.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, That would be fun! But we have to find the right script.

nalinikanth asked, hi mohan i like very much i watch your thremovies grahanam is superb plese to make challam Mydanam
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Maidanam is a tough novel. Some day may be!

Hanu asked, Hi MohanKrishna, Ashta Chemma ni chaala baaga enjoy chesanu. Thanks for giving such a good movie. I've a question. What do u think are the main qualities that one should have to become a good director ?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Patience, perseverance and most importantly, talent!

RaghavendraTanikella asked, Hi Krishna, This is Raghavendra Tanikella. We are close friends(MY PARENTS INFORMMED ME) at the age of 4-5 years that time our families lived at Vijayawada (Krishna lanka).I am happy to see you as good director. All the best for ur future projects.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, That's great. What's your nick name? 

suresh asked, hi mohan
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Hi there!

Kodanda asked, Do you give breaks in ur movies based on talent or based on recomendations
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Talent is what I belive in. If a talented guy comes up with a good recommendation., no problem. But not just that, either!

srinivas asked, hi ur movie is very good what is ur next project
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Not yet decided. Am working on a couple of ideas.

directorteja asked, With Ashta Chamma doin 50 days strong..R u worried about Director Teja's Keka releasin 2moro will stop the cinema's successful run. i m ravi from vizag.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Not really. AC has its own audience. Also every film should have its own!

vinod asked, Hi Mohan. I am a software engineer by profession. I am doing fairly well in my career. But the only thing I want to do is making films. I have written 3 script which I want to make into a movie. how do i go about it. I have no contacts anywhere in the movie industry. I have no idea how to go about this...
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Grab a cam corder and shoot one of your scripts with friends. Post it on You tube or send it to festivals. Trust me. it works. You will also know if you can actually pull off a movie!

A still from Ashta Chamma.saipradeepMaddali asked, Wat r your future projects? i had heared that u signed some big deal with big hero is that true???
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, All rumours as of now!

sharma asked, Hi.Sir, I swa the Movie 'Ashta Chemma' with you in Rajahmundry. you have offered cool drink also....Really graeat feeling......i had with you, up to intervell i did not come to know you are the direcotor .....really nice feeling, and movie. U r direction is so good. Sharma.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Great! I remember offering the drink to you. Nice to hear that you enjoyed the movie.

saipradeepMaddali asked, Hi Mohan.. i like ur way of direction.. did u worked as assistant for any other director? what is your native place?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I didn't work as AD to anyone. I am an MFA in filmmaking. I am a filmaking student.

VK asked, You know what? One Lady from Dallas, Texas is seriously considering marrying you! He is the neighour to "PillowIsland"! Ok, you may get confused whatthe heck "PillowIsland" might be! Its a true translation of telugu word "TalagadaDeevi" ! Hu Hu Hu Ha Ha Ha!
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I am curious and flattered! Thank you.

VK asked, Hi Mohan : How is life treating you?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Life's good, man! Nice and cool.

sridhar asked, what motivated you to do a film on a subject like grahanam..Bcos in this commercial world many people back off from such it for awrads or for personal satisfaction...
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I make films for an audience! I don't think we can predict winning awards! You have to be very rich to make it for personal satisfaction. I think Grahanam reached its audience.

moxie asked, halooo indragani
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, xxxxxx.

BHarat asked, Hi, Krishna Though i am north indian and do not watch telugu movies but I saw grahanam on recommendation of rachakonda vidya sagar it was excellent. Perhaps You should give a hand to hindi movies well.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Great. I might do a Hindi film when the opportunity comes. But it's a tough world out there in Mumbai.

balachandra asked, Hi this is balachandra from IIT Kharagpur, just saying HI to you
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Orey nuvvendukuraaaa.

ramanjaneyulu asked, Hello Sir, Are u interested any working with any Star? I personally feel Nagarjuna will perfectly suit with your story ideas.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I don't write with stars in mind. Anyone should suit the part and the star also should get excited about the role.

Kranti asked, hi Mohankrishna,congrats for a hit film.its really nice to see only telugu film(all telugu technicians and actors etc) for the first time i think.never seen such before.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, thank you for recognising that! I appreciate it.

saipradeepMaddali asked, Hi whos your favourite director????
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Well there are many. But Akira Kurosawa is God to me.

ujwal asked, Aamir Khan and u have nominated for the same award how d u feel?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Not nominated. We both won and Aamir gave me that award but unfortunately I couldn't attend when he won it. It's great to receive from him. I admire him immensely.

svkrishna asked, Hi mohankrishna.What kind/type of story qualifies for a movie in your opinion?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, a story with conflicts and resolutions. a story with life and the contradictions of life.

Tanikella asked, Raghavendra Kumar Tanikella- My nick name-Babilli
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Mmmmm! Trying to recollect. But anyway, great to hear from you.

Anil asked, Does that mean A talented guy cannot come to you without a Reco
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, That's not what I mean! I mean talent rules! The rest is academic.

ramkumar asked, hi mohan , after asta chama , iam expecting another family move
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, What is a family movie?

phanisurya asked, Hi mohan krishna.. My question is that why are we unable to meet international standards?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Because we don't have yardsticks of excellence. We don't have a number of examples of excellence in cinematic art.

A still from Ashta Chamma.saipradeepMaddali asked, Can we expect any commercial movie from you? or you will go with cool movies as karan johar and adi chopra..etc

Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, There are no art or commercial movies. Movies are art. So either it's good or bad.

moghal asked, You say Kurosawa is god to you...but so does every director... Is there any influence of him on your cinema...?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Sure. His variety. He touched all genres. His basic humanism. His subtle sense of humour. His love of nature. The list is endless. And he invented many stories and techniques which we use now.

sridhar_v1 asked, Hi Mohankrishana garu, i have seen ur "grahanam"way back in 2006,but i have't seen ur later movies. grahanam has impressed me a lot because of the story and the way u picturised it.keep going .all the best
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Thank you. My next movies are Maya Bazaar [not something to write home about] and Ashta chamma [of which I am very proud of].

ivak asked, Chalam maidaanam; Vaddera Chandi das Anukshanikam - ee renditlo meeru denni darshakatvam vahinchadaaniki ishtapadataaru? Enduku?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, No to both because they are great on page than on screen. Chandidas is a wonderful exponent of stream of consciousness which is very difficult to visualise.

hyd_dir asked, Hi...Who are your favorite film makers in Indian cinema and Hollywood ?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Satyajit Ray and Vishal Bharadwaj. Hollywood...mmmm many. Arthur Penn, John Cassavettes, David Fincher, Hithcock, Billy Wilder the list goes on.

akash asked,  pls answer my question who according to you is the most versatile heroine in india today
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, None, unfortunately.

Hanu asked, Hi Mohan, Do you think formal education in film making helps ? Did it help you ?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Immensely.

Rambabu asked, why did you chose "Rambabu" for the AstaChemma?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I have a lot of friends and I like that name. I wanted a pucca Telugu name.

casanova asked, Hi Krishna..watched the movie grahanam..felt proub to be a fellow andhraite and indian
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Thank you.

SekharC asked, Hi Mohan, Congratulations,AC is cool. Your direction is superb. I must say your choice of actors is very good and Nani and Srini are exceptional and swati is good as always. Please do not change your style to suit so called big heroes.hoping to see many more entertainers from you!
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Thank you.

Narendar asked, Hello Mohan, Congratulations on the success of AC. I liked it, very much enjoyable. What is your opinion on adopting our very own telugu novels? Why dont you throw some light in that area. I guess our ppl have forgotten our telugu lit.
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I would love to. There are many wonderful works. I hope to do some at least.

VK asked, I have not seen Grahanm until now just because you never sent me a DVD!This is one o fmy count less requests!
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Orey vedhava! I got it now! I won't send to you. You are all commercial viewers.

NTRSastry asked, The female-lead accepts to marry the male-lead only after confirming that his original name is Mahesh.. And the female-lead's aunt gives a nod only after knowing that the guys is a rich man. It's just a story, but don't you think you could have come up with a better ending?

Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, The movie is a farce. the story is an unreal over the top comment on fan-following and the subsequent craziness! A story can have many endings. That was the ending I liked the most!

moghal asked, If you were to remake this movie in Hindi...would you go with an all newcomer cast or for established actors..?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I am waiting for someone to ask me to do it first:) Anyone listening?

A still from Maya Bazaar.Sasank asked, you said david fincher was one of your fav directors, so do u have any plans of making psychological thrillers like him
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Sure. The next one could be that! Who knows?

balasundar asked, Hai On the awards you have received which you feel the best?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, The national award and the Gollapudi award.

kameshwari asked, Your Maya Bazaar was flop. were u not worried at that time. Why do you pefer commercial movies and why not movies like grahanam or any realastic movie?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, All artists produce flops. I took it in my stride. And there are no commercial movies and art movies. Grahanam was a drama, MB was a fantasy and AC is a comedy! That's all.

lalith asked, Ashta chemma is a good entertainer. Do you have any similar projects in pipeline ?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I have another comedy but I won't make it immediately.

Sandesh asked, Mohan gaaru stick with the casting you prefer in ur further films....dont go for commercial heroes...they will destroy the theme in the film..Please dont do that
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I agree.

daggumati asked, Why can't you try Amaravathi kadalu as a TV serial,same what happened for malgudi days
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, It's been done. 

Kranti asked, are you doing anything about the film piracy?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, It's a tough crime to control. Our producers have done their best. But we have lost quite a few audiences because of that.

NTRSastry asked, Well, you say your film is a satire on fandom. If that's your intention, you could have created an imaginary super-star just for the film. I heard many people say the film is nothing if not for Mahesh Babu. You relied on the same fandom to fill your pockets.. How do you justify that?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, The best of satires have roots in some form of reality. We can't write in a vaccum:)People have their own opinions. They have a right to have them!

daggumati asked, what is your favourite novel in telugu
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Naveen's Ampaseyya.

praveenhotha asked, mayabazar was good, but i felt that the title should have been something else. Ppl expected a lot , probably becos of the title. what is ur say?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I guess so. I still feel MB was a bit cliched. I tried a good story in a cliched manner!

padmavathi01 asked, indrangathiiii garu.... naku oka hi chepandi
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Hi.

shiva asked, Dear Mohan garu, Everyone say it is difficult to enter Telugu Film Industry without any reco. So, can you please tell the way for a person without any reco and having interesting themes
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, You can enter without recommendations. I did. You need to either work as an AD or make a short film as your demo. And you have to be patient and meet a lot of people.

Lavanyaswati asked, Mohaaaannnn I luved ashta chamma, u rock!! cant wait for ur next film!! avi avi
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Avi avi too! There is this girl called Swati who did the lead role. I think she is the one who rocks.

srixtreme asked, y r u deviating ur path from classical movies when u proved ur self in that?
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Not at all. I like making all kinds of movies. Unfortunately people think comedy is low and not serious enough:) But I think it's the most difficult.

Lavanyaswati asked, Mohan u didnt answer my question :( everyone is praising u that u casted an all telugu cast.. but how do u feel? I mean is language an issue? or talent even bigger??
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Language is very important. But sometimes you may not get everything you want. I would like to cast good actors with fluency in Telugu.

Ashi asked, Hi Mohan...As you used Mahesh name in ur film AC Do you have any plans of making a film with Mahesh Babu in future ??
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Not in the near future.

Koteswara Rao asked, Who is your favourite actor
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, Gene Hackman. Morgan Freeman, S V Ranga Rao, LInga Murthy, Govindaraju Subba Rao and many more.

Ashi asked, Hi Mohan. Your take on your films looks like very professional. Did you do any course like DFT in institutes like PUNE film institute ??
Mohankrishna Indraganti answers, I am an MFA from York University, Toronto and Canada.

Mohankrishna Indraganti says, Hi people, it was great talking to you all. Thank you for your appreciation and criticism as well! Hope you will react in the same manner for my future projects too! See you all! Bye!