The upcoming Telugu film Vysakham, directed by B. Jaya, is the first Indian film shot in Kazakhstan. The unit recently returned to India after shooting two songs during a 15-day schedule.
“I started this film as a small one, but once shooting started, it became big. In my earlier films, especially Lovely, the songs had been appreciated by everyone. I wanted the songs in this film to be even more beautiful, so I chose Kazakhstan,” says Jaya.
Jaya is one of the few woman directors in Tollywood actively making films. “I could have gone for regular locales like Spain, Switzerland, Bangkok or some other place, but I wanted to show something new. Though it was very difficult, in the end we came up with very good visuals,” says the director.
“They speak only Russian and it was very difficult for us to communicate. Members of our unit used the Internet on their mobile phones and translated every word in Russian and showed them. The temperature was sub zero in some places,” she says.
Shooting in border areas was tricky. “Drones are banned at the border area, but we used them for our shoot. The Indian Embassy and the local government really helped us,” she says, adding that almost 60 per cent of the film is complete.
In Vysakham, Jaya is introducing Avantika, a model from Mumbai, as the female lead and Hari is playing the male lead. The initial budget of the film was around Rs 3 crore, but it has now gone up to Rs 8 crore, as they are also using robotics.
The film is being produced by Jaya’s husband B.A. Raju.