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Chitchat with Satish Thati

February 6, 2007

Satish Thati is a passionate movie lover. After working in USA for 12 years, he roped in his favorites Vamsi and Ilayaraja to produce 4-crore venture ‘Anumanaspadam’. This film is due for the release on 9 February 2007. Read what Satish tells about his debut film -

My native place is Suryapet. I went to USA in 1996 to pursue my masters. Then I got a job, started a company with Jai Arnala as a partner and settled over there.

Why did you enter into film production?
I am a movie freak since my childhood. It was my dream for the past 15 years to make a Telugu film.

Why did you sign Vamsi?
Films of Vamsi, K Viswanath and Chiranjeevi inspired me a lot. My favorite combination is Vamsi - Ilayaraja. I was in touch with Vamsi for the past five years, even before he made ‘Avunu Valliddaru Ista Paddaru’. He narrated me many comedy stories. But I zeroed on a suspense thriller. Anveshana is a landmark Telugu suspense thriller even today. My aim is to make Anumanaspadam number one suspense thriller.

Telugu movie lovers does not have appetite for suspense thrillers and horror films. Don’t you think it is a risky venture?
We get rewards only when we take risks. Nonetheless Anumanaspadam is a calculated risk.

What do you think is the reason behind Vamsi and Ilayaraja not working together for decade and half before Anumanaspadam?
My observation is that they worked together as long as Telugu film industry operated from Madras. Once we have Telugu film industry migrated to Hyderabad, it has become an expensive proposition to have Ilayaraja for small budget films made by Vamsi. It is purely due to financial viability. I don’t think there was any ego issue.

How was it like meeting Ilayaraja?
WE (me and Vamsi) approached Ilayaraja together. He listened to the story and immediately gave a go ahead. He also felt happy that there is lot of scope for rerecording. He advised Vamsi to keep minimal dialogues in the film so that there will be more scope for rerecording. He challengingly said that the first copy of the film should be so good that he should not get sleep that night as he would spend worrying about how to provide excellent RR. On the lighter side, we screened him the film at 9:30 pm and it was almost 12:30 am by the time, film was over.

What is the theme of Anumanaspadam?
It is a suspense thriller with the forest backdrop.

How different will be Anumanaspadam compared to Vamsi’s earlier films?
We did not compromise on budget. We asked Vamsi to use all advanced and latest equipment. For the first time Vamsi used some cameras (ARRI 435 & Jimmy Zip), cranes and lenses, which he never used earlier.

Tell us about Vamsi?
He is a creative genius. He has mastered the art of story telling. Vamsi changed his style in this film and will create a new trend with this film. I always wanted to become a director. But after watching Vamsi from close quarters, I dropped that idea. He has complete grip over moviemaking. He understands 24 crafts so well that during the writing of the script itself, he has details like camera framing and background music in his mind.

About Ilayaraja?
My partner Jai Arnala treats Ilayaraja like a God and he has become a disciple of Ilayaraja. Ilayaraja too is very fond of us. He generally do not give any public appearances. But he was so much convinced about our passion towards cinema that he graced the audio launch in Hyderabad.

What is the budget of this film?
We started the project by keeping an estimation of 2.75 crores as budget. As the shooting progressed, it went on to 4 crores. We did not want to compromise on production values as we want our passion to reflect in the making of the film.

What are the number of working days?
100 days! Vamsi‘s last film for highest number of working days was April Okati Vidudala. He shot it in 48 days.

Why are you doing your own release?
The first reason is we did not get good offers from distributors. Since there is so much important for sound in this film, we don’t want to release the film in ordinary theaters. If we sell the film, it will be distributors decision to choose a theater. Now we are releasing in all excellent theaters.

How many prints it is releasing with?
35 prints so that it falls in small film category with 8% entertainment tax. We will increase the count from the second week.

When is it releasing in USA?
We are also releasing the film in USA on our own. We are sending 3 prints and it will be released in the first week itself.

What is the runtime of the film?
It is 2.15 hours. Anumanaspadam obtained U/A certificate from the censor board on 4th February.

What was your connecting point to Telugu films in USA?
I follow religiously. I take a decision to watch or avoid a film based on jeevi ratings and the analysis written in jeevi reviews.


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