Of late, Telugu cinema has seen an increase in ‘local’ films like C/o Kancharapalem, Falaknuma Das, Dorasani and Palasa 1978. Now, a film titled Vittalwadi, directed by debutant T. Nagender is set in a city neighbourhood situated between Himayat Nagar and Shanti Theatre. “We are making a film based on a true story that happened in Vittalwadi,” he confirms.
Originally from Puttaparthi, Nagender shares that he landed in Chennai with a passion for cinema. “I worked with director Balaji Saktivel on the film Kalloori and with RGV on Satya 2,” says Nagender, who adds that he knows Telugu, Tamil and Kannada fluently. “In fact, I wrote the Tamil dialogues for Satya 2,” he says with pride.
After working in the Kannada film industry as a writer and assistant director, he shifted to Hyderabad where he worked as an assistant director on films like Adavi Kachina Vennela and Kadile Bommalu.
Revealing how his debut film came about, Nagender shares, “It was when producer Naresh Reddy narrated an interesting incident that happened in Vittalwadi that I decided to make a film on it.”
Interestingly, most of the cast comprises of locals, including the producer’s nephew, Rohit Reddy, who is playing the lead role. “It’s a different kind of love story. In most of the films, the boy is shown running after the girl, but in this film, both fall in love with each other but they still respect their elders’ decision,” he narrates. While the characters are shown speaking with a Telangana accent, major scenes were in fact, shot in the Vittalwadi area. “We mostly shot in the locality, but we also recreated a street set in a studio,” adds Nagender.