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Chitchat with Cherry
Mohan Goteti

December 18, 2006

Cherry has been the executive producer for many hit films. He also distributed films like Chatrapati and AOR in USA. Now he is getting into film production and producing Okkadunnadu under the direction of Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. Here are the excepts of a tete a tete with Cherry -

Brief Background
My real name is P. Chiranjeevi and friends call me Cherry. I have been associated with Telugu films since 1993. I was associated with Ram Gopal Varma and as executive producer for films like Money and Gulabi. Later on, Varma moved to Mumbai to direct Rangeela and I stayed back here and started my own pharmaceutical company. I returned to film industry a couple of years back and worked as executive producer for Chatrapati and Vikramarkudu. I always wanted to produce films. Director Chandra Sekhar Yeleti is my close friend and a relative. He has agreed to direct my debut production venture.

Please tell us about Okkadunnadu.
Okkadunnadu is coming from the combination of Chandra Sekhar Yeleti and Gopichand. Chandu has directed high class and intelligent films like Aithe and Anukokunda Oka Roju. Gopichand has mass appeal. This is a rare combination. Chandu has changed his offbeat style and incorporated commercial elements in Okkadunnadu. The story of this film is based on a real life incident.

Why did you name your banner as Clap Entertainment?
Clap has two meanings. One is the clapboard, which is used to mark shots of film. Another meaning is applause. I wanted my banner to be associated with moviemaking and applause.

What is the progress of Okkadunnadu?
Shooting of two songs is pending. The rest is complete. We are planning to shoot these two songs from 18th of January in Hungary and Spain. Rerecording of the film starts on 20 December. We shot the film extensively in Mumbai. We will be launching the audio on 15 January and the film on 9 February.

Can you tell us about Mahesh Manjrekar’s role?
He is doing the role of the main villain in this film. It was a difficult task to catch hold of him, as he was extremely busy directing two films and acting in many films. However, our script compelled him to give us dates. He is going to be a huge plus point to the film and he gave an excellent performance.

Tell us about the music.
There will be five songs in the film. Shooting of three songs is over. Rahasya – a popular Tamil girl – has done an item song in this film. MM Keeravani is known for his exceptional background music and rerecording. He is making sure that he adds lot of value to the film with his background score as well.

Why are you using three fight masters for this film?
We engaged Allan Amin, Ram Lakshman and Vijay for choreographing fights in Okkadunnadu. Most of the fights in Chandu’s earlier films incorporated chases. Nevertheless, this film would have some real fights and we wanted to show some variation. That is the reason why we engaged so many fight masters. The climax fight by Allan Amin is going to be an asset.

Tell us about other cast and crewmembers.

1. Neha Julka: Neha did many TV ads such as King Fisher, Santoor, Airtel, HDFC, HP Petrol etc. She is currently acting in a Hindi film under production by Smita Thakare.

2. Jaya Krishna Gummadi: He worked as a cinematographer for films like Mr. & Mrs. Sailaja Krishna Murthy in the past. He graduated from Pune film institute. He uses lighting techniques very differently. Okkadunnadu is going to be a visual treat.

3. Ravindar: Ravindar is handling the art department. He also did the set work in Mumbai. He erected three sets in Hyderabad.

4. Siva Koratala: Siva worked as dialogue writer for four films produced by Dil Raju. He shared the credits with other dialogue writers. Now he is going solo for Okkadunnadu.

Gangaraju Gunnam’s inputs were critical in films like Aithe and Anukokunda Oka Roju. Did he listen to this script?
Yes. In addition, he gave some quality inputs to Chandu.


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Satya Krishnanan
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