Ramoji Rao was an Astute Producer, Says Director Teja

Hyderabad: Media baron Ramoji Rao also established the prestigious banner Usha Kiron Movies and churned out many hard-hitting films like ‘Mayuri’, “Prathigatana’ and ‘Mouna Poratam’ to carve a niche for himself in Tollywood. “I think he has produced more than 80 films and has stamped his mark and unique class,” says director Teja who was launched as director by Ramoji Rao with the blockbuster film ‘Chitram’ featuring Uday Kiron and Reema Sen. “He gave me the much-needed break as director after my successful stint as cinematographer in Bollywood. I cranked cameras for movies of big stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan Jackie Shroff, and Suneil Shetty and gained some reputation,” he adds.

Actually, he was canning many Bollywood films in Ramoji Film City and was fascinated with varied sets designed in a picturesque way and truly a filmmakers-friendly studio. “He was truly a visionary and designed a swanky studio with the best of facilities,” he says and adds, “One day, I personally approached him and assured him that I could make a complete film in this studio and narrated a new-age love story to him,” he informs.

With a lot of humility, Ramoji Rao told Teja that he couldn’t judge the bold theme since he was 60 years old but asked me to go ahead. “I told him that I could make ‘Chitram’ with all newcomers including Uday Kiron and Reem Sen and others within Rs 30 lakhs but he trusted me and earmarked Rs 40 lakhs and rest his history,” he adds. When the love story revolving around a college student's love and a girl getting pregnant turned out to be a box office winner, he said, “Ramoji Rao told me that the heart-touching dialogue ‘Maa Amme Malli puttindi (my mother is born again) has struck a chord with the audience,’ he informs.

When most of the producers were churning out commercial potboilers in the 80s and 90s, Usha Kiron Movies was dishing out thematic and hard-hitting movies to give the audience some variety. “Ramoji Rao also has a different and unique taste. He also knew that cinema was a medium that could influence society and people's minds. He was heading a top newspaper Eenadu and used to mark interesting news items appearing in his paper. He ended up making some heart-wrenching films by turning some of these news articles into movies that were loaded with humanity, social values, and moral moorings. No doubt, Tollywood has lost an eminent and knowledgeable filmmaker who was an astute producer too,” he concludes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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