This group of young filmmakers from the city is on cloud nine. In their first ever attempt at an international film contest, not only did they manage to impress the audience and the judges, but have also won a silver prize in the ‘Professional Filmmaking’ category for their short film Ranga Deva. This win at ‘The India Film Project’ for depicting a real life-incident has left them over the moon.
“We have known this as one of the biggest festivals in the world and have always been interested in becoming a part of it. However, it was only this year that we could make time because all of us are otherwise busy in our own individual projects. I am very glad we participated,” says Deepak Reddy, the film’s executive producer.
Harikanth Gunamagari, the project’s director, shares what it felt like to experience the moment of glory. “When we applied, we were aiming to achieve a position in the top 50. But eventually, we were told that we were in the top 10 and were even invited to watch the finalists’ films in Mumbai. Being placed third at that event was quite overwhelming,” he says. Notably, Harikanth also co-wrote the story of Ranga Deva with Prashanti Chakravarthy. While Vincent was the line producer, Rajinikanth and Bunny are the lead actor and supporting actor respectively.
What’s interesting is that the group’s short film was the only film from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to make it to the final level. During the contest, the participants were given a concept and 50 hours to work on it — they had to come up with the end product in just two days. “The topic we got was ‘everything is connected’. As we brainstormed, we soon came up with the idea. Inspiration was taken from a real character, though we built a fictional story around him,” explains Deepak.
The story came to the writers from an incident that the film’s music director, Kamran, had earlier encountered. Apparently, a poor man from a remote village reached out to him for an opportunity to sing and landed the offer — much to the former man’s surprise. And Kamran recorded a song with him titled Ranga Deva, which has been used as the main track in the film. Harikanth mentions, “The man’s passion was really inspirational. Also, it’s interesting that at this moment he doesn’t even know he inspired a film, and that his song has reached international audiences. We have to reach out to him.”
While the sincere and honest work they put in for the film seems to have borne fruit, the team is already gearing up for something bigger. Deepak and Harikanth are unified in their “desire to challenge” themselves more often now. The latter says, “Now that we know we can do it, we’d like to do it more often. Hopefully, we’ll win gold in the future.”...