What are the steps you are taking for preventing movie piracy?
the past one and half years, the AP Film Chamber has become inactive.
I suffered a lot during the release of 'Choodalani Vundi'
due to video piracy. That was when I decided that I should fight
against piracy for my next film. We producers invest up to 15-16
crores by selling all our properties and make films. And some
rascals pirating the movies rob us off our worthy earnings.
AP, black marketers and pimps carry out video piracy. The same
piracy is going on in USA too for Telugu films. Telugu white collared
people who are either doing software jobs or studying in universities
do this. Recently, we arrested three people in Vijayawada, who
gave us the names of the persons in the US with whom these people
form a piracy network. The issue being investigated now and I
should not reveal their names. But I can say that one person among
them is very close to me and closely associated with me. I will
give out the names and photographs of those people to the Federal
Agency in the US and I will also give out that information to
don't see any difference between the maniacs who masterminded
the 9/11 tragedy and these idiots who are carrying out piracy
in the US. Whatever their intent, both these groups are a bane
to many innocent people. These people who are carrying out this
piracy are bringing disrepute to the entire Telugu NRI community
in the US.
have decided to spend each and every penny I earn from 'Indra'
film in the USA, to trace these pirates and bring them to justice.
I have also appointed an attorney to tackle this problem. I would
be personally visiting the US along with other producers like
KL Narayana, Teja, D Suresh Babu to take care of this. We have
spoken to our CM Chandra Babu Naidu regarding the same and I have
informed Honorable Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr.
Pramod Mahajan too about this, when I met him a couple of days
a Hindi film, the overseas market is very huge. Hence they are
selling the rights to USA NRIs. As a result they are suffering
because the pirated cassettes and DVDs are being dumped into India
from USA. The market for Telugu cinema in USA is very minimal.
The amount we get through selling USA rights is peanuts. We producers
send prints to USA, only to entertain the Telugu NRI crowds out
there. Whatever we get (15k to 20 k dollars) from USA market is
nothing. Out of which we give 50% to the people who distributed
it, as it helps their studies. But these same distributors are
obtaining pirated cassettes from Vijayawada and other areas in
India and reproducing pirated DVDs in USA. That's why we want
to stop sending prints to USA for one and half year. We may not
release any more Telugu films in the years to come. Indra is my
last film to USA. Here after, I don't want to send prints of any
of my future films. Because of 10-11 bad guys, the entire Telugu
community in USA would be suffered.
have the entire details of Balarami Reddy (I can't reveal more
details about him as it is under investigation). I know the person
to whom he speaks over the phone in India. I know how he forged
my signature and created a fake agreement. I have appointed an
attorney and I will sue him. The kith and kin of the NRIs in India
are proud that the cream of their families is in USA and this
is what some people do in the USA. If they want to do get into
such cheap acts, they could do it here. Why should they go to
USA and do these kinds of things and get disrepute to the entire
Telugu NRI community.
have taken rigorous steps here in AP as well to curb piracy and
save our properties (Telugu films). For that, we would be taking
action lawfully and if needed unlawfully too. Because the copyright
laws have some loopholes, these pirates are doing piracy and earning
money. Due to this piracy, a producer loses crores of money. To
be honest, Santosham
films should have collected crores of rupees more. These two films
are terribly affected by piracy.
you take the entire film industry of India, only Andhra Pradesh
film industry is doing extremely well. This is because of our
'prekshaka devullu' (audiences). The public is coming to
theaters and watching movies. That is the reason why Telugu NRI's
traveled hundreds of miles to watch Indra screening at New Jersey.
That passion for films is very much present in our Telugu blood.
AP Government is introducing a new act called Andhra Pradesh Criminal
Act to tackle pirates. If you analyze, there are around 20 people
who are doing piracy in AP for the past 10 years. Rathan Rai (Bangalore),
Jeeva Rathan Reddy (Tirupati), Star Videos (Chittoor), Bhaskar
Rao (Bejawada) etc are the guys who are in the piracy business
since many years. If these guys are put in jail, they get the
business done by their relatives. The Government is going to put
all these guys behind bars on the basis of an act on organized
came to know that Indra
DVD is available in a shop in Detroit. I will make sure that Indra
pirated cassettes/DVDs are not circulated. Balarami Reddy has
given the DAT to a DVD maker in San Jose to make copies. I will
go to any extreme to curb piracy.
movie collections go down due to video piracy, it's not just the
producer who suffers. The entire Telugu film industry and thousands
of families that are dependent on industry suffer. Irrespective
of the place where piracy occurs, we requested the Government
to change the area of jurisdiction to Rangareddy district court
as all the producers are based in Hyderabad. Even if there are
any practical difficulties, we don't mind going to other areas
as well. Recently, Teja and me had a trip to Vizag regarding anti
piracy operations. All the producers would be making frequent
trips to curb piracy.
pirated cassettes and DVDs is also crime. These pirates are surviving
because the public entertains piracy. Are you taking any steps
to educate the public?
are appealing to the public to understand the efforts that go
into making films and request them to watch them on big screen
instead of viewing them on a pirated cassette in closed doors.
We are roping in all popular heroes to create awareness about
piracy by giving advertisements on the television.
of the public and DVD selling shops complain that they do not
know which DVD is original and which DVD is pirated. Do you have
any plans of officially releasing a list of Original Telugu DVDs
available and the details of the makers of those Original DVDs?
the producer council is going to give an advertisement about the
latest Original DVD as soon as one is released. We are also planning
to make theater owners sell Original DVD/VHS in the outlets of
coming to your mega movie Indra.
What is the response you got for 'Indra'?
am very happy. I am grateful to the audience of Andhra Pradesh.
This film is on its way to erase all the records and set new standards
at the box office. I have also received critical acclaim for the
film. I am very proud of the entire unit who worked very hard
for this film. We worked as a one united force.
is believed to have said that there is a major mistake in the
second half of the film. He has also announced that the producer
would give Rs. 10,000/- to the person who identifies it. Do you
know what the mistake is?
I do not find any mistake in 'Indra'. I do not know what
Chiranjeevi garu has on his mind. I am also trying hard to find
out the mistake myself so that I can given Rs 10,000/- with one
hand and take it back with another hand. Lets wait for Chiranjeevi
garu to announce that mistake.
are your predictions about 50 days and 100 days centers of Indra?
will run for 50 days in all the released stations. You may have
to ignore some of the second theaters in those stations. Indra
is going to run for 100 days in 110 theaters to 115 theaters.
I am also expecting quite a number of centers for 175 days.
you predict the number for 175 days centers?
can't give out the number. But, if we look at the current trend,
Indra has all possibilities of creating records in 175 days centers.
The rainy season is ahead. Lot of films are releasing in the next
month. All these factors affect the long run of Indra.
I can definitely tell you that it will create an all time record
in the history of Telugu cinema.
us about your future films?
Number Kurrodu' - a joint venture with K Rghavendra Rao -
is releasing on 11th of September. Siri Media film - a joint venture
with Allu Arvind with Venu as hero in direction of SV Krishna
Reddy - would be releasing in the month of November 2002. Currently
I am concentrating on my film with Pawan Kalyan. I am also planning
a film with Venkatesh Babu as hero very soon.
fans feel that you owe a big hit movie to Balayya. Do you have
any plans of producing a film with Bala Krishna?
I am working with the heroes with whom I am very much comfortable.
I am always on the watch for an excellent story to do with Balayya
and I will start the project as soon as I find one. I am promoting
the culture of making films will all heroes. I think I am only
second to D Rama Naidu in the terms of making films with all the
you have any long-term future plans?
have one lifetime ambition. That is to represent my hometown Vijayawada
and enter parliament as MP. I am not sure when I would contest.
This is one of the unfulfilled wishes I have. I want to do something
good to my hometown Vijayawada.
political party do you wish to join?
don't have any concrete idea about it. At present, I am a sympathizer
of BJP and TDP though my father is a very strong communist. But
I might even contest as an independent.
us about your academic background?
am a graduate and I come from a well-to-do family. My father is
an A-class contractor in Andhra Pradesh and we were the sole distributors
for Kalinga pipes in AP for many years. Since I came from a business
community, I wanted to deal movie as a business. The strong force
behind my success is my wife, who is a postgraduate. And my daughters
are enjoying my success now. When I am down after my unsuccessful
films, my daughters encourage me with words of courage. They are
Dutt and Vyjayanthi Movies banner are the forces to reckon with
in Telugu film industry. What are the factors behind you becoming
such a big producer? Is it pure luck and dedication towards work?
Or do you have any strategies?
plays an important role in this film industry. Without luck, whatever
you do might boomerang. First and foremost, my hard work and dedication
helped me to become successful. I started my career as an executive
producer for a black and white film directed by K Viswanath. Luckily
I got a chance to work with a great director like K Viswanath
in the beginning. Then I landed up producing a film with my favorite
actor NT Rama Rao. NTR is a role model for discipline. Then I
worked with ANR, who is a great actor. I learnt a lot from both
of them. Chiranjeevi garu and Raghavendra Rao garu are always
with me to support me. Both these people are very dedicated towards
their profession. So there are many factors that have contributed
to my success.
you produce a film, do you at any point of time get a suspicion
that the film might become bomb out?
Definitely! Whenever we chose a storyline, we have 70% good qualities
that dominate the story. Based on those good qualities, we start
the film. During the making of the film, the negative points in
the storyline might dominate the film.
take the storyline of 'Azad'. South Indians don't have
so much emotional attachment towards Pakistan border problem and
Kashmir unlike the fervor of North Indians towards the same issue.
Even when a few bombs planted by a terrorist organization were
unearthed at Nuziveedu, our public did not take it very seriously.
Our indifferent attitude towards border problem is one of the
reasons why Azad did not succeed in a big way. I was in Waranasi
on 15th August 2002. I was surprised the way they celebrated the
Independence Day. Each and every person was wearing a tricolor
national paper flag on the shirts. Flags were hoisted on each
and every house of Waranasi. In Andhra, we don't have even 10%
of that attachment.
for Indra, the first half came out very well. But during the making
of the second half, I had to cross check if any comparison between
earlier faction films and Indra
the positive points get diluted and negative points get elevated.
I might not have good judgment about the subjects I choose, but
I am definitely very talented when I choose music for my films.
All my films are musicals.
making Choodalani Vundi, you started two projects with
Chiranjeevi and they were stalled. Can you tell us what exactly
the success of JVAS, we wanted to do another vithalacharya
kind of fantasy film by highlighting graphics. So we started 'Bhooloka
veerudu' with Chiranjeevi as hero in the direction of Singeetam
Srinivasa Rao. After completing two schedules, we realized that
we started the film only to highlight graphics without having
proper story in our hand. We realized that it would become a flop
if we complete it and release it. If we release the film, the
entire industry (right from producer to exhibitor) would lose
money. By stalling the shooting, only I lose money. So we stalled
was looking out for other stories. Then Ram Gopal Varma narrated
a story to me. He was making 'Daud' at that time. Ramu
felt that the shooting of 'Daud' might be stalled due to
Sanjay Dutt problem. So he narrated the story to us and we liked
it. We started the project with Chiranjeevi as hero in the direction
of Ram Gopal Varma. After sometime, Sanjay Dutt was released and
'Daud' shooting restarted. Then we realized that the storylines
for these two films are similar. I was not comfortable in doing
a film, which had the same story line of another bollywood film
in the making and I lost money by stalling this project too.
are the reasons for the flop of 'Ravoyi Chandamama'?
would like to tell you a strange point here. I made two flops
with Nagarjuna. I lost heavily on those films. And Nagarjuna too
suffered set back in his career because of me. Though those films
failed, you can see all our efforts in them.
think I made mistakes in these two films. Ram Gopal Varma came
with two subjects. One is Rangeela and other one is Govinda
Govinda. He told that he prefers making Rangeela with
Nagarjuna (Amir Khan role) and Rajnikanth (Jackie Shroff role).
I told him that I wanted to do an action film. Since, I am an
ardent follower of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, I preferred mixing
action thriller with divinity and made 'Govinda Govinda'.
The negative points in that films got highlighted and it became
narrated two subjects to me. One subject was like that of 'Vetagadu'
with full masala and entertainment and the other story was 'Ravoyi
Chandamama'. Since Jayant did three love films and met with
success, I preferred 'Ravoyi Chandamama'. Nagarjuna also
seconded me. But the movie misfired. In retrospect, I feel that
the movie would have been different if we had a fresh heroine
in that film. Anjala Zhaveri had already acted in three films
has gone wrong with Aswametham?
the original script, we had Sridevi doing dual role as twins.
But it was later converted into two different heroines. We have
also failed in shaping up Sobhan Babu's character in the movie.
Besides, the super success of JVAS also made us feel over
confident about doing this project.
have announced that you want to make a film with Pawan Kalyan.
But he takes lot of gap between movies. Can you wait for him for
so much time?
don't mind waiting for a couple of years to make a good movie.
I waited for Mr. Mani Ratnam for two and half years. After two
and half years, Mani Ratnam told me that he is doing a Tamil film
and he wanted me to produce the Telugu version. It sounded like
a dubbing film, which I refused to do.
don't mind waiting to do a prestigious project with Kalyan, which
would become the talk of industry. Kalyan has got equal fan following
in intellectuals, masses and class people. I feel, a moviegoer
should extract each and every penny he spends to watch my movies.
And I am confident that the movie I make with Kalyan will be one
of its kind.
in the industry is enjoying the success of 'Indra'.
When the audience feels that he got the value for his money by
watching a film, it's a rare achievement for the producer. At
that time, JVAS had given that kind of value for money
and now Indra
is doing the same. If I make a film with Kalyan, there are 99.99%
chances that it would become a much bigger hit than these films.
Kalyan is a dedicated artist.
you have any plans of celebrating the audio platinum function
and 100 days function of Indra?
words have now prompted me to arrange a function to celebrate
the platinum disk of Indra's audio. But I am not sure about it.
However, I want to celebrate 100 days and 175 days of Indra in
a grand way with a public function. There are a lot of requests
to celebrate the function in Rayalaseema, Nizam or coastal district.
We have not taken any decision yet. I will inform you as soon
as we finalize it.
you want to say anything to the visitors of idlebrain.com?
am grateful to the visitors of idlebrain.com for reading my interview
with such patience. I also feel proud looking at idlebrain.com
and seeing so many new things. I wish idlebrain.com visitors all
read another interview by Aswini Dutt