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Interview with Aswini Dutt by Jeevi

: 2nd July 2002 Venue: Avid editing room, Sabdalaya Studios, Hyderabad

Aswini Dutt, the man behind Telugu Cinema's one of the prestigious banners - Vyjayanthi Movies, is a senior most producer of Telugu film industry. He has produced blockbusters with all the stars of Telugu Cinema ranging from NTR to Jr. NTR.

Vyjayanthi movies is celebrating 25 years of existence and entertainment in Telugu cinema this year with the grand release of Indra. Aswini Dutt, who gave record-breaking hits with Chiranjeevi in the form of 'Jagadeka Veerudu - Atiloka Sundari' and 'Choodalani Vundi', is currently busy with the postproduction of 'Indra', which is his third venture with Chiranjeevi. Apart from an unprecedented craze, this film has also given gossipmongers enough food to spread various rumors about the movie. met with Aswini Dutt, who was busy with the editing of 'Ghallu Ghallu' song at Sabdalaya Avid editing room, to clear the mist surrounding Indra. Chiranjeevi and Lawrence were also present in the editing room having a look at the song. Here are the excerpts --


There is a rumor that B Gopal abandoned the project 'Indra' and that Chiranjeevi himself is directing the film. Is it true?

(Laughs). There are two types of people in life. The first type comprises of working community. They have so much work to do that they do not have time for other things. The other community is idle community. They have so much idle time that they can create nice gossips and spread them through likeminded people.

This is not the first time a rumor is created on me. I do hear lots of gossips on my every film that is under production. All these rumors are baseless. B Gopal is directing this film with vengeance. He has given two sensational hits [Samarasimha Reddy, Narasimha Naidu] with Bala Krishna garu in the recent past. But he repents that he has given a disaster in the form of Mechanic Alludu with Chiranjeevi garu. So he wants to prove that he can deliver a record-breaking hit with Chiranjeevi garu too.

I am very happy with B Gopal. He is like a sibling. He started his career as an assistant in Vyjayanthi banner before directing his first film [Prathidvani] with Suresh Productions.

There is a gossip about some controversial dialogues in Indra. Please comment

I want the audience to watch the film and enjoy it immensely. I do not want to say anything about dialogues now. Let the visitors watch the film with curiosity.

There is another rumor that Chiranjeevi is playing dual roles instead of two get-ups in this film. What do you have to say about it?

Let the visitors wait for the film's release to know the truth. The film might even have triple roles (laughs).

There is another rumor that a few scenes from 'Indra' are copied into Allari Ramudu, which also has the same technicians in the form of B Gopal and Paruchuri brothers. How far is it true?

This is also yet another baseless rumor. I am a senior most producer in this industry and I have been with the industry for the past 28 years. Nobody in this industry has the guts (dammu) to steal scenes from my film and incorporate them into their films. Such a thing did not happen in the past and would not happen in the future too. Aswini Dutt is Aswini Dutt and Vyjayanthi movies is Vyjayanthi movies.

Tell us about Indra?

Whatever I say might come across as exaggeration but Indra is the best film made by Vyjayanthi movies so far and it's going to create history. JVAS (Jagadeka Veerudu - Atiloka Sundari) is a high standard film in the industry after Vijaya vaari cinemalu (films from the Vijaya movies banner). Indra will stand much higher and above than our JVAS.

You will see Chiranjeevi gari viswaroopam as an actor in Indra. NTR garu did an exceptional work in the scenes of Sri Krishna Pandaveeyam. Chiranjeevi garu gave such a kind of unique performance for Indra. Indra is going to be a visual-feast for Telugu film lovers. This film is going to be a landmark in the history of Telugu cinema.

Typically, the audio of a film is released 20-30 days before the film's release. But, you have released Indra audio 45 days before the theatrical release of Indra. Is there any specific reason?

I give a very high preference to the audio of my films. If you observe the track record of Vyjayanthi movies, there might be some box office failures of my movies but the music (audio) has always been a hit. With the increasing cost of production and high budgets, we need to promote the film using available media like print, TV and Internet. I have observed that a couple of audios of Chiranjeevi garu's high budget films were released 10 days before the release of the film. I felt sad looking at that. I wanted to make the music registered in the minds of audience. That is the reason why I released the audio 10 days before the norm.

We recorded 11 songs for this film and selected 6 best songs out of the 11. RP Patnaik has given one song. Indra album is a musically rich and it created records in audio sales. I view it as the first victory by Indra.

Chiranjeevi's movies do not need such heavy publicity and promotion. But you have started publicity of the film two months before the release? Don't you think it would create unnecessary hype?

Heavy publicity might create hype. But, this is not the first time where I am carrying out heavy promotions. Even for Azad, we did the same kind of publicity. Chiranjeevi is the number one hero now and Vyjayanthi movies is the number one banner. When we both join hands together and produce a hatrick film, its natural that it creates a lot of attention.

This year is a silver jubilee year for Vyjatanthi movies. And we kicked off a festive mood with this film right from the beginning. Now we are just carrying that mood to glorified heights. Indra is a hit film in audience mind. We are only waiting to know the range of the film after it hits the theaters. Whatever publicity we have done for this film is just a tip of the iceberg. You will see the real publicity in the days to come.

You have announced the movie release date way back in January and you are sticking to it now. Did you not face any hurdles to stick to the date?

For all my films, I announce a date and stick to it at any cost. We faced lot of hurdles in between and we overcame all of them. Whatever upsets and hurdles we faced only affected the budget in terms of wastage. But it did not affect the quality of the film.

We shot this film for 8 months and releasing it at the end of 8th month. Even for JVAS, we shot for 8 months and released it in the ninth month.

Any special reasons for casting Sonali Bendre?

Sonali Bendre is donning the character of a girl who is studying MA in Benaras Hindu University and who is also the daughter of the Governor of UP. She needs to have sophistication and nativity of a Telugu girl in UP state. Almost all the top Mumbai heroines have worked in Vyjayanthi banner. And Sonali Bendre joins that list. Sonali Bendre is the best, disciplined and well-mannered girl among the heroines I have worked with so far.

We heard that Arti Agrawal is playing a negative role?

You have to wait and see it on the big screen to know if the character has extreme negative qualities or mixed qualities. I do not want to reveal it now.

Who came up with the title Indra?

After two months of shooting, I arrived at the title 'Indra' and it was instantly approved by Chiranjeevi garu. For Choodalani Vundi, Chiranjeevi garu suggested the title.

You are making three films now. How are you managing that?

The only profession I know is filmmaking. I don't know any other business. I am becoming more productive and effective in what I enjoy doing the most by doing multiple films. I work for 19 hours a day and hence I am able to do full justice to all my projects.

Interviewed by Jeevi
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