Director Vamsi is ready with his new film, Dongaramudu & Party, starring Srikanth and state award-winning actress Laaya. His last Telugu release, Avunu Vaalidaaru Ishtapadaru (Ravi Teja, Kalyani), was a huge hit.
The director carved a niche for himself in the Telugu industry with blockbusters like Sitara (Suman, Banupriya), Anveshana (Kartick, Banupriya), Ladies Tailor (Rajendraprasad, Archana) and April Okati Viduthala (Rajendraprasad, Shobana).
Vamsi specialises in unique stories laced with entertainment and good music. In fact, music maestro Ilayaraja's excellent music and Vamsi's stylish song picturisations became the director's trademark and added repeat value to his films, until flops like Detective Narada (Mohan Babu, Mohini) pushed him out of the scene.
When he returned after a long gap, he did it in style with Avunu Vaalidaaru Ishtapadaru. The film, a typical Vamsi love story laced with humour and good music, was a massive hit.
Trade circles are looking forward to his next release with high expectations, since he is one of the few Telugu directors who deliver hits despite avoiding the typical 'formula' films. Their hopes have been buoyed by the fact that the film's songs are doing well. The young composer Chakri, who created AVI's hit music, has teamed up with Vamsi for his new film as well.
Dongaramudu & Party's music was released by Andhra Pradesh Home and Cinema Minister Devender Goud at a grand function. "I hope the youth will turn robbers inspired by the film," Goud said, tongue-in-check, as he took a dig at the film's title.
At the function, Srikanth claimed his dream of working with Vamsi had been finally fulfilled. Laaya said she learnt a lot by working with him. Chakri, who is gradually inching towards the big league with a string of hits, said, "He [Vamsi] has again extracted the best from me."
Producer Kumar Choudhury said he signed Vamsi because he wanted to make a 'tasteful' commercial film to be viewed by all sections of the audience.
Vamsi, as is his wont, didn't say anything since he strongly believes his films should do the talking.
Dongaramudu & Party is scheduled to release in June.
Soundarya -- the snake lady
Soundarya, who married software engineer G S Raghu on April 27, has signed the Tamil-Telugu bilingual, Swethanaagu. The film will see her play a girl who studies the behaviour of snakes. Abbas will play the male lead.
"We will use a white cobra on celluloid for the first time," says director Sanjeev, who rose to fame with the devotional film Trinethram. Sanjeev plans to begin shooting for Swethanaagu in June; it is expected to hit the screens in October.
The film is an adaptation of a popular Telugu novel by the same name. Producer C V Reddy believes they have a winner on their hands if their cinematic vision does not deviate from the novel.
Swethanaagu's music is being composed by Koti.
Soundarya, who was the Telugu film industry's numero uno actress at one point in time, moved to the Tamil film industry after her releases -- 9 months and Manasistha Raa -- bombed at the box office. She will return to her original turf with the soon-to-be-released Telugu film Seethaiya, opposite Harikrishna.
Kasaravalli heads awards panel
The Karnataka state awards committee will be headed by filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli (Dweepa). Forty-two Kannada films will compete this year for the awards.
There were rumours that Kasaravalli may not accept this prestigious position because there was a chance that he would be selected for the National Awards committee. T S Ranga was expected to head the state committee in that case.
Other members of the state committee include film personalities like Ramadas Naidu, Chetan Rama Rao, Ashok Badaradini, Abdul Rehaman Pasha, H N Maruthi and senior film journalist A S Murthy. There will be a special seat reserved for either the information director or his representative.
The 42 films competing this year are: Bimba, Kshama, Mouni, Singaravva, Kshama, Olave, Bala Navika, Odu, Thavarige Baa Thangi, Halo, Sainika, Kichcha, Appu, Paris Pranaya, Wrong Number, Hollywood, Balagalittu Olage Baa, Preethi Nee Illadha Na Hegirali, Thuntaata, Parampare, Marma, Kathegalu Saar Kathegalu, Don, Karmugilu, Dhumbi, Nanage Neenu Ninage Naanu, Parusha, Laali Hadu, Kalarava, Artha, Devara Makkalu, Black and White, Indian Police, Joot, Adhu, Dhaddhad, Heart Beats, Nandhi, Nagabharana, Mooru Manasu Nooru Kanasu, Gandhinagar and Dharmayodharu.