‘Easier to shoot at Georgia than at Narayanaguda flyover'
Acquiring permissions to shoot in real locations is tough and lacks transparency, says director Praveen Sattaru
Actor Rajasekhar is known for his ruthless cop roles and most of the films where he donned khakhi were big hits. And this time, he plays a NIA (National Intelligence Agency) officer in National Award winning director Praveen Sattaru’s upcoming suspense-action-thriller PSV Garudavega. The film has a universal theme that connects with all sections of the audience, said Praveen.
“The film is set in the backdrop of the NIA. Rajasekhar plays a NIA officer, who develops a turbulent relationship with his wife due to his professional commitments. He always makes futile attempts to balance his personal and professional life and is frustrated with the way things turnout at work. He ends up in big trouble and how he gets out of it forms the crux of PSV Garudavega,” says Praveen.
In an industry where success and failure seals the fate of an actor or a technician, the director had qualms in signing up Rajasekhar, who was off the radar and was going through a lean patch for some years now. “If you see the last couple of years, films with strong content worked wonders. If we come up with captivating experience and gripping narrative, then sky is the limit. In that case, nobody is bothered about who plays the lead role.”
Does Praveen think Garudavega is a game changer for him? “Not really. A film should be based on the script and there is no rule to spend huge bucks on each film you direct. Except a good script, neither the budget nor a big star will fetch you any dividends.”
The film also has a special number of Sunny Leone. “There are only two songs in the film. One is a special number and the other being a montage shot on Rajasekhar,” shares Praveen, adding, “It’s ultimately my producer’s call to rope in Sunny in the film and I must say the song flows with the narrative.”
Does the film have any leads in to a sequel? Praveen reveals, “We have ideas for a sequel and incorporated our thoughts during the end credits. We may take a call only after the film releases.”
Praveen explains shooting Garudavega in real locations of Hyderabad’s Old City and Narayanaguda flyover was challenging as it required them to shoot in places where acquiring permission was difficult.
“When we shot an action sequence on Narayanaguda flyover, we were given just two hours permission from 5 am to 7 am. Considering the logistics and the star cast in place, it’s hard for any filmmaker to complete the shoot in such a short time. It’s expensive and costed us Rs 18 lakh a day. We also shot in highly crowded places like Chowmahalla Palace for 10 days. Somehow, my team managed to get permission to shoot there. Frankly speaking, if you want realistic cinema, give us permissions. It has to be a one-stop thing and there has to be transparency. The government should provide police security and they should recognise Tollywood and its people as an industry and support us in all endeavours.”
The director says the problem is not just prevalent in Hyderabad but holds the same across the country. “We wanted to shoot an action sequence on a railway track in Darjeeling. We had to spend Rs 25 lakh to get the permission for just two hours. So, we choose Georgia as an alternative and shot the entire train block over there. We blocked the main railway track for three days and you will be surprised to know that we spent less compared to that of Darjeeling.”
Also starring Pooja Kumar and Kishore in other roles, PSV Garudavega has wrapped up the shooting and is slated to hit the screens in August.