My mother is my mentor: Koratala Siva

He’s Tollywood’s latest hitmaker and after Srimanthudu, director Koratala Siva now reveals his own story

He has directed only two films but is already now in the big league — being hailed as the next big director to watch out for. Koratala Siva, director of Srimanthudu, started as a writer more than a decade ago. He made his debut as a director with Mirchi in 2013 that gave Prabhas the highest grossing film in his career, at the time.

There’s also something special with all the actresses in his movies. The women characters in Siva’s films – Nadia in Mirchi or Shruti Haasan in Srimanthudu – have always been very strong — and he says that the inspiration is his mother.

“I was brought up in a village in Guntur district. I lost my father when I was 10. My mother could have married again, but she didn’t. She took up my father’s job and looked after both my brother and I. At the same time she continued her studies for promotions in her job,” says Siva. “My mother always taught us to be strong and independent. She used to say ‘help, don’t harm’,” says Siva.

He also likes his films with a bit of a message. “I don’t know about others, but I personally feel that I should have a social responsibility when I write dialogues. I don’t think people change their minds after watching my films, but I want show more positive things than just entertainment in my films. I follow the same principle when I write dialogues,” he says.

He also loves reading. “My mother used to encouraged us to read. I have been reading newspapers since I was 10. Later, I completed my B.Tech in Bellary and at the time I read Mahaprasthanam written by Sri Sri. I was inspired by that book and it was then that I decided that I wanted to become a writer,” he reveals, adding that to him, literature is not only beautiful but also powerful.

Popular writer and actor Posani Krishna Murali is a relative of Siva. With his help he started writing dialogues for a film called Girlfriend. But his first big break came with Bhadra, a Ravi Teja film, in 2005. Later he found work as a writer for films like Munna, Okkadunnaru, Oosaravelli and Brindavanam.

Siva then decided to try his hand at directing and he narrated a story to good friend and producer Vamsi. “At the time Vamsi was also trying to turn producer and he liked my story and wanted to produce it,” says Siva.

And that’s when the two picked Prabhas. “He took me to Prabhas and asked me to narrate the story. Prabhas like it very much and wanted to do it immediately, but he had already given dates to Rajamouli for Baahubali. They then asked Rajamouli who gave his go ahead as Baahubali would take time. That’s how Mirchi happened,” reveals Koratala.

But sadly his mother, who wanted to see her son’s first film as director, passed away before Mirchi released. “I was shattered. She was a strong support for me. I have friends in the industry, but my mother made me strong... made me the man and the director I am today,” he says.

The director was supposed to start his second film with Ram Charan and then with Mahesh Babu. “But the Ram Charan’s project didn’t materialise, so I narrated Srimanthudu to Mahesh Babu, which he liked it and asked me to develop it. But the Ram Charan project stays... it’s on.”

Siva adds that he has no great ambitions. “I have enough money and live in my own house. I don’t want to earn more than what I can handle and I don’t want to make films in a rush,” says the director, who married in 2007.

And the best compliment he has ever received? “It’s from my mother. She watched Brindavanam, called me and simply said, ‘You write very good dialogues’. That’s the best compliment I have ever received... ever. But I still feel bad about the fact that she couldn’t see my first film as a big director,” he concludes.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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