Director’s Day a unique idea in Indian cinema, says director Veera Shankar

Popular director Veera Shankar who is the president of Telugu Film Director’s Association is hosting a grand gala event to announce May 4 as Director’s Day since it happens to be the birthday of legendary director Dasari Narayana Rao. "Quite similar to Teacher’s Day for Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Children's Day on Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday Children's Day, we want Director’s Day in memory of ace director Dasari Narayana Rao,” he says. He informs Deccan Chronicle that they are also conducting a fund-raising drive to help out 700-odd members in their esteemed body.

Q: Announcing Director’s Day is a unique idea?

A: It’s a rare and unique idea because no other industry in Indian cinema has boasted of such a day. We are paying tributes to Dasari Narayana Rao who was a trendsetter and great filmmaker in Tollywood. We have been celebrating his birthday (May 4) as director’s day within four walls of our industry in the last few years. But now, we want to make it public and host a mega event on May 4. It would be a proud moment for Telugu directors who are making waves worldwide.

Q: You are also raising funds and meeting up Tollywood stars?

A: We are celebrating two events on one day. We are meeting big stars to raise funds for the welfare and well-being of struggling directors’ which includes associate and assistant directors too. Already, Prabhas has donated Rs 35 lakhs and Chiranjeevi garu and other stars are going to announce their donations and we are expecting around Rs 2 crore.

Q: Why does a renowned directors guild need more funds?

A: We have 1800-odd members in our esteemed association, out of which 700-odd are struggling and couldn’t even pay their insurance premiums. Hence, we are raising funds to help out our colleagues and formed a Trust which is headed by K Raghavendra Rao and others. We are also providing mid-day meals for struggling and aspiring directors and provide free lunch to them at three food joints including Madhapur and Srinagar Colony. We want to extend more support and make them think better and move up the ladder of success. We are also thinking of establishing a knowledge hub to hone their technical skills since creativity is inherent.

Q: How big stars are supporting this whole event?

A: We are quite thankful to big stars like Chiranjeevi, Mohan Babu, Venkatesh, Nani, Ram Pothineni, Kalyan Ram and Gopichand and other big stars who are going to grace the event at LB stadium on May 4 to make it memorable. I think they have respect and regard for the director per se.

We have also formed a cultural committee with directors like Anil Ravipudi, Maruthi and Jeevitha and others who are designing the entertainment-driven show. The event would be loaded with chartbusters, skits and other programmes to celebrate and hail Telugu cinema which has won appreciation worldover. I also wish to thank the top stars, top directors, our office-bearers and 100-odd colleagues who are doing a lot to make this event an ever-lasting show.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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