Badugu Vijay Kumar is making his film debut with Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya, inspired by incidents which took place in Telangana in 2001. “Eight weavers from different families committed suicide in one month that year,” says Vijay Kumar.
Hailing from a weaver’s family in Pochampally, Telangana, Vijay, who completed his MBA in Finance, quit his corporate job to make films. “I made many short films and documentaries and most of them are on social issues. One of my documentaries on the Bhoodhan Movement won a national award,” he says.
Initially Vijay wanted to make a film on Chintakandi Mallesham, who invented the Asu machine which brought about a revolution in the weaving industry. His story was ready in 2017, but around that time, a biopic on Mallesham was released. “So I decided to focus on weavers’ suicides and the plight of handloom workers,” says Vijay.
While explaining that he had done a lot of research on the topic, he asserts that he took care not to make it look like a documentary. “I added a few songs and also some entertaining elements to the story,” says Vijay. The film was shot in authentic weaving locations like Pochampally and surrounding villages, Siricilla and Narayanpet.
“My film is about snatching victory from defeat,” Vijay adds.
The Telangana government has been encouraging towards Vijay. “Minister K.T. Rama Rao garu has seen my film and he promised me that he would help. I am holding a special premiere for KTR and others in a few days ,” says Vijay, adding, “Many Tollywood producers watched the film and they appreciated my work.”
Interestingly, a few producers to whom he had narrated the story turned him down. “Tadaka Ramesh, a social activist from our village, came forward to produce this film. He is also involved in the weaving business, so when I told him the story, he was able to relate to it,” says Vijay.