They are young, restless and unafraid to try something new. Tollywood is suddenly seeing an abundance of young talent, with several new directors, actors and other technicians entering the industry.
While the industry was earlier dominated by certain film families, this new talent proves that no one needs a godfather or backup from any big film personality to make it.
Take for instance actor Nani, who started his career as an assistant director and made a few small films. He is now in the big league. Likewise, many young actors in the making like Nikhil Siddhartha, Raj Tarun, Vijay Devarakonda and Adivi Sesh are choosing different content, with great success.
“It’s a good sign for Telugu cinema and good days are ahead. The new talent has changed the scenario of Telugu cinema. Till now, it was more formula based, but now many youngsters are coming up with innovative ideas and people are encouraging them,” says filmmaker Thammareddy Bharadwaj.
He adds that directors like Koratala Siva are also changing the mindset of the big stars. “All the big stars are afraid to take up a different concept, but he changed their mind with films like Srimanthudu’ and Janatha Garage.”
Then there are young directors like Tharun Bhasckar (Pelli Choopulu), Sriram Adittya (Bhale Manchi Roju), Chandu Mondeti (Karthikeya), and Merlapaka Gandhi (Venkatadri Express).
“I never think about how the industry is or about a formula. If I have a script in my mind, I approach people and do it. I never look for anyone’s backup or somebody to recommend me,” says Sriram Adittya.
He is happy that many youngsters have entered the industry. “It gives us a good environment in which we can exchange ideas and share our thoughts. We never feel competition between us.”
While earlier, actors mostly came from the film families, nowadays, that is not the case. “The mindset of the audience has changed and they are not encouraging the regular old formula. The younger generations want something that is related to their thought-process and narrated in an entertaining manner. That’s why new talent is more successful these days,” says Raj Kandukuri, producer of Pelli Choopulu.
“I just attended an interaction with the students of a private college and asked them why they saw Pelli Choopulu. They said that the content is good and it related to the younger generation,” says Raj.
“They don’t bother whether you shot the film in Switzerland or at Ameerpet, but they want different story telling. The ticket price is the same for a Rs 150-crore Baahubali and a Rs 80 lakh small film. The audience never looks at the budget of the film, they look at the content,” he says. He is now coming up with another small film with new talent.
So what about star kids and their huge fan following? “They will stay and nothing will happen. Stars who have a huge fan following will definitely get huge openings at the box-office, but in the end, it all depends on the content of the film, which is the king. The only advantage for them is that they will get more chances than others,” feels Thammareddy.
Will the young talent stand a chance to be in the industry for a long time or are they a passing trend? “They will definitely stand out for a long time and in the near future, more and more people will come into the industry. You will see a big change in Telugu cinema with this new talent,” believes Raj Kandukuri.