usa special
hyd scene

You are at Home > Celebs > Interview > Director N Shankar
Interview with N Shankar
Date: February 4, 2011, Hyderabad
n shankar

N Shankar is one of the few directors of Telugu cinema with social responsibility. All his movies that are made on human triumph like Encounter, Sriramulayya and Bhadrachalam struck the right chord with the people. His latest film ‘Jai Bolo Telanagana’ is releasing with 150 prints all over the world on 4 February 2011. Here is an exclusive interview with N Shankar who is representing the latest Telangana struggle on the big screen -

I am an avid reader of literature since childhood and am thoroughly influenced by it. I come from a struggled village. I am a huge fan of Chalam, Sarat, Tilak, Gopichand, Kaloji, Sri Sri, Ravi Sastri and many Telugu literary legends. I love reading history and got influenced by Alluri Seeta Rama Raju, Subhash Chandrabose, Azad, Komaram Bheem who sacrificed their lives for the society. I also used to read books on naxals fight. I used to participate in Kavi Sammelanam in our areas. In attended a Kavi Sammelanam in 1983 in Nalgonda which was graced by Ravi Sastri and Sri Sri. They liked my poems a lot. My photograph with them also came in local newspapers at that time.

Actor Prabhakar Reddy is also from my neighboring village. He heard about me and I met him. He came to know about my interest in films and invited me to come to Madras. I went to Chennai. He recommended me for Bharatamlo Sankharavam film and I worked in direction department for that movie. Later on I worked for directors like B Bhaskara Rao, hero Krishna, EVV and Kodandarami Reddy. It was Padmalaya Studios that gave me a direction chance, I directed a socially relevant film titled ‘Encounter’ as my first film. My second movie Sriramulayya is based on the life story of Paritala Sriramulayya (father of Paritala Ravi). I later directed films like Yama Jatakudu, Jayam Manadera, Bhadrachalam, Ayudham, Ram and a Kannada film. Jayam Manadera is the big commercial hit in my career. Encounter, Sri Ramulayya and Bhadrachalam have got excellent appreciation.

There has been a considerable gap after the release of Ram (2006). What is the reason?
I had done a Kannada film and I prepared a terrific story for Vijaykant for a film to be made in Tamil. Later on, the same story was liked and appreciated by Chiranjeevi. Chiranjeevi evinced keen interest in making his 150th film in my direction with that story. He had to put it on hold due to his entry into politics. I was also supposed to make a movie with Bala Krishna. A few years were gone into this process.

Tell us about the genesis of Jai Bolo Telangana film?
Telangana is a struggled area for centuries. During the 15th century, Sammakka Sarakka fought against unlawful rulers for Telangana people. In 16th century, Sarvayi Papanna fought against Muslim rule in Telangana. Komaram Vheem fought against Asif Jahi Dynasty in 19th century. Telangana Armed Struggle (Telangana Sayudha Poratam) took place between 1945 to 1948. Telangana people fought for Telangana again in 1969 in which 369 people were killed. People’s War group initiated fight for Telanagana between 1996 to 1998, which was suppressed by the government. The latest fight was started in the end of 2009 and it is happening continuously.

I had always wanted to make a movie on Telanagana Sayudha Poratam for a long time. I prepared a script on this subject after Bhadrachalam movie. It was supposed to be made with a big hero on a big banner. Our home minister Chidambaram declared Telangana on the night of 9 December 2009 and the government withdrew the statement within 24 hours due to immense pressure from the politicians of Rayalaseema and Andhra. The people of Telangana realized the importance and got emotionally involved in Telangana issue since then.

Over 600 people have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Telangana since 9 December 2009. I made an announcement that I will make a movie titled ‘Jai Bolo Telanagana’ in the samsmarana sabha (condolence meet) of Srikanth Chari who sacrificed his life for Telanagana. I thought that I would find a producer. But sadly, nobody came forward to produce this movie. I do understand that filmmaking is a business and no businessman wants to put in money in a film that is made for a social cause. What disturbed me the most during Telangana movement is the self-immolation of Yadaiah who is a bartender. He became the fuel for Telanagana movement. I cried for 4 hours when I came to know about the way he died. That is when I decided that I should produce the movie at any cost. Putting all my earnings to make a movie on Telanagana is very small compared to what the 600 matyrs had done for Telanagana.

I have sold all my assets and asked friends and well-wishers to invest in the movie. I asked my friend Srinivas (Orlando) for money and he gave me 25 lacs. Lots of people helped me financially and morally in making Jai Bolo Telanagana movie. KCR penned a song. Gaddar sang a song and acted in the movie. Lots of praja kavulu and gayakulu contributed their might to the movie. Students acted in keys scenes of the movie.

What is the story of Jai Bolo Telangana?
JBT film covers the latest mass movement of Telanaga. It is backed by a good story based on human relationships. There is a love story in it. I am saying through this movie that the human relationships and bonding shouldn’t be broken by the leaders.

You are saying that relationships shouldn’t be broken and at the same time you are supporting a separate Telanagana?
I am trying to propagate that the state should be divided on the physical boundaries, but the people should be united like brothers. There is a need for a separate Telanagana because the downtrodden will get benefited if a new state comes up. The leaders have been doing unjustice to Telanagana for decades. The poor man in Telanagana will get benefited if Telangana is ruled by good Telanagana leaders.

JBT film’s release is postponed by a week due to censor problems?
I think the censor board took it personally and didn’t give a certificate. We went to revised censorship and got the certificate. I want to personally thank everybody who protested against non-issuing of censor certificate. There had been severe protests when the news broke out. I don’t want to make it controversial now by talking censor board problem now.

Are there any issues in the film which are going to hurt the audiences of Andhra and Rayalaseema?
I always feel that people of all three areas - Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema are great. It is the politicians and big industrialists who are causing trouble to Telanagana people. I tried to showcase the struggles of Telangana. The people of Andhra and Rayalaseema will sympathize with Telanagana people after watching JBL. I also want to clarify a misconception to the middle-class people from Andhra and Rayalaseema who stay in Hyderabad that nothing is going to change if a new state comes up. Everybody can live like brothers and sisters.

JBT is about Telangana and you have taken Andhra actor Jagapati Babu to play main lead?
I am of opinion that the form of art knows no borders. There is no discrimination (cast, creed, religion or region) in arts. Jagapati Babu is an apt choice and he has done terrific work. He is has done three roles in this movie as grandfather (1969 movement), father (1998 movement) and son (current movement). We cast people from all areas as per the demands of the script. Smriti Irani who is All India President of the Womens Wing of BJP has acting in a key role. I also have a few NRIs like Padma Reddy (Chicago), Indira (Dallas) acting in the movie.

How different is JBT from other movies?
Jai Bolo Telangana is a film that is having so many newspaper reports and tv channel videos coming live as a factual tale. It is up to date. I don’t think any other film is made in such a way on an ongoing struggle which keeps taking turns very rapidly. I had to rework on script and change many scenes to be up to date. When you watch JBT on 4 February, you feel like you are watching incidents that are happening today.

What is your gut feeling on the movie?
JBT is a honest and realistic movie. It is made for a cause. The supporters of Telangana will own the movie. The people from Andhra and Rayalaseema will look at the human angle of the movie and sympathise with the plight of Telangana people.

Other Interviews
Nandini Reddy (director)
Ravi Babu (director)
Kalyan Ram (actor)
Bharat Thankur (producer)
Saloni (actress)
SS Rajamouli (director)
Madhura Sreedhar (director)
Sundeep Kishan (actor)
Satya Tatineni (director)
Nani (actor)
Lakshmi Manchu (producer)
Manoj Manchu (actor)
Aditya Babu (actor)
Chandra Siddhartha (director)
Ram (actor)
Deva Katta (director)
Ruby Parihar (actress)
Anita Galler (actress)
Priya Anand (actress)
Shruti (actress)
Arun Singaraju (director)
Naga Chaitanya (actor)
Suman Pathuri (director)
Sekhar Kammula (director)
Richa Gangopadhyay (Actress)
Seenu Vytla (Director)
Krishna Vamsi (Director)
Srikanth (Actor)
Sravanthi Ravi Kishore (Producer)
Ram (Actor)
Chaitanya Dantuluri (Actor)
Chakri Toleti (Director)
Nara Rohith (Actor)
Senthil Kumar (Cinematographer)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
Anand Ranga (Director)
Marthand K Shankar (Director)
Siddharth (Actor)
Raj Pippalla (Director)
Nani (Actor)
Deva Katta (Director)
Raj & DK (Directors)
Surya (Actor)
Shraddha Das (Actress)
Mahesh Shankar (Music director)
Lakshmi Manchu (Actress)
Siddharth (Actor)
Sushant (Actor)
Sharwanand (Actor)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
JD Chakri (Director)
Tamanna (Actress)
Kishore Kumar (Director)
Rahjul Nambiar (Visual Effects Supervisor)
Deepa Chander (Cosumes designer)
Anushka (Actress)
Hari Charan Prasad (Director)
Colors Swati (Actress)
P Ravi Shankar (Dubbing artist)
Anushka (Actress)
Sonia (Actress)
Usha (singer)
Anish Kuruvilla (Director)
Gowtam Menon (Director)
Genelia (Actress)
Kamal Kamaraju (Actor)
Kishore (Actor)
Harsha Reddy (Director n producer)
Bindu Madhavi (Actress)
Shweta Basu Prasad (Actress)
Dil Raju (Actor)
Santhi Chandra (Actor)
Teja (Director n producer)
Jeevi (Critic)
Lakshmikanth Chenna (Director)
Manoj Manchu (Actor)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Sekhar Kmmula (Producer)
Ravi Krishna (Actor)
Sunitha (Playback singer)
VN Aditya (Diector & Producer)
Nallamalupu Bujji (Producer)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Chandra Sekhar (Actor)
Raahul (Actor)
Dil Raju (Producer)
Gopichand (Actor)
Siva (Souryam director)
Venkatesh (Actor)
Mamata Mohandas (Actress)
Lakshmi Lahari (Actress)
Ramesh Varma (Director)
Samudra (Director)
Yogesh (Director)
Neha Thota (Child actress)
Srinivas Avasarala (Actor)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Kanmani (Director)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
PG Vinda (Cinematographer)
Madan (Director)
Bhavana (Heroine)
Bhargava (Producer)
Hari Yelleti (Director)
Krishnudu (Actor)
Kishore Ganji (Producer)
Ram Mohan (Producer)
Salim Panda (Actor)
Surekha Vani (Actress)
Manjari Fadniz (Actress)
Vishal (Actor)
A Raja Sekhar (Director)
Sridevi (Actress)
Sayaji Shinde (Actor)
Viswa Tej (Actor)
Geetha Madhuri (Playback Singer)
Namitha (Actress)
Sneha Ullal (Actress)
Prem Kumar Patra (Producer)
GV Prakash (Music director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Bharat (Child actor)
Malini Dasari (Cinematographer)
Rama Jogaiah Sastry (Lyricist)
Venkat (Hero)
Uday Kiran (Hero)
Sharwanand (Hero)
Ram (Hero)
Aditi Sharma (Heroine)
Nagur Babu (Mano) (Singer)
Sekhar Suri (Director)
Sindhu Menon (Heroine)
Vinu Thomas (Music director)
Nihal (Music director & Singer)
Nitin (Hero)
Smita (Pop singer)
Sonal Chauhan (Actress)
Raghu Kunche (Singer)
Udaya Bhanu (Anchor)
Meher Ramesh (Director)
Rao Ramesh (Actor)
Gopi Mohan (Writer)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Vara Mullapudi (Director)
Bhumika Chawla (Actress)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
Vijay C Kumar (Cinematographer)
Sekhar Kammula (Director)



emailabout usprivacy policycopy rightsidle stuff