Director or actors who enter Tollywood and make it big, often have interesting stories and anecdotes to share from their days of struggle. The same is true for director Anil Ravipudi, who’s latest venture, Raja The Great, starring Ravi Teja, will open at the box office this Diwali. The filmmaker recalls, “I did my schooling in Mahabubnagar and I used to watch movies when I was eight years old. My parents knew the theatre’s projector operator and I used to stay with him most of the time.”
Anil, whose father was an RTC driver, adds, “My parents never objected even though I used to watch so many movies, because I was a bright student and stood first. It became a practice in my life as I was so addicted to cinema.” He then moved to Guntur for pursuing BTech. “During my graduation, I became a back-bench student and used to sit in a corner. I became an average student as my studies took a back seat and I used to think more about films. I did not have friends and I was not active in anything, but when I was in my second year, I got a chance to participate in a cultural event of the college,” reminisces Anil, who was asked by the college authorities to prepare a skit.
“I wrote, directed and also acted in a skit Tirupathi Prayanam. It became super hit and I became popular. Everyone used to call me a ‘director’ and that’s how it came into my mind that I wanted to become a director,” he mentions.
After graduating, Anil reached Hyderabad to pursue his dream career. “Director Arun Prasad (of Pawan Kalyan-starrer Thammudu fame) is my uncle and I met him to get a chance in films. He was directing Goutham SSC at that time. Though he refused initially, he later asked me to join his team. That’s how I joined the film industry,” shares the director. Anil then worked as a ghost writer for many films. “They were big hits, but sadly, I didn’t get any credit for them,” he adds.
Eventually, he wrote his first official and original film, Pataas. “I approached three to four actors initially and everyone showed interest, but for various reasons, nothing worked out. Finally, I met Kalyan Ram and narrated the story to him. He showed interest but he wanted to produce it with a big star,” recalls Anil.
Kalyan Ram’s Om had released at that time and he wanted to take a break from acting. But Anil insistence that the story was most suited for his personality, forced the actor to rethink his decision.
“He believed my confidence and called a few of his friends and I narrated the story to them. They got excited and agreed that Kalyan Ram should do the film. That’s how my Pataas happened,” reveals Anil, who has never looked back since.
Interestingly, Anil loves Jandhyala mark’s comedy and has watched all Jandhyala films. “The impact of Jandhyala garu is seen in my films. I used to watch Bapu and Trivikram films a lot too, but I don’t read books,” he says.
With his second film Supreme being a big blockbuster, and his third and upcoming film, Raja The Great releasing this Friday, all we can hope for is a hat-trick of successes for this director....