Sanjana Reddy: A new beginning
The filmmaker talks about her debut film Raju Gadu, starring Raj Tarun and Amyra Dastur
Sanjana Reddy's debut film Raju Gadu is all set to hit the theatres this Friday (June 1). Starring Raj Tarun and Amyra Dastur in lead roles, the film’s trailer hints that it is likely to be a full-on entertainer. “Raju Gadu is a fun-filled family entertainer that should appeal to people of all ages. Even though the interval and climax sequences appear cinematic, I have tried to keep the narrative as natural as I can,” explains the debutant director.
Sanjana first developed Raju Gadu story and then narrated it to Raj Tarun who immediately gave the nod. “I never wanted to make a film with a routine story and when I kept discussing various story ideas with Raj Tarun, suddenly this subject flashed in my mind. Incidentally, this was around the time when Bhale Bhale Magadivoy released and did really well. Taking a cue from that film’s success, I narrated the script to Raj Tarun. He was impressed with it and introduced me to producer Anil Sunkara, who was equally excited and agreed to pool the resources.”
The film shows Raj Tarun in an unconventional role. “He plays a kleptomaniac, who keeps stealing stuff for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. He lands in a tricky situation and how he overcomes all the hurdles in his life is what Raju Gadu all about,” says the filmmaker.
Ask Sanjana if she has stolen anything in real life, pat comes the reply. “As kids, we all might have picked an overhanging mango or guava from our neighbour’s trees. If you all have 0.0001 percent urge to steal, I had it at 0.9 percent (laughs). So, I stole keys, locks, car logos, Harley Davidson bike logos and some other stuff. That way I’m a low-level kleptomaniac,” she confesses.
The newcomer says that she has tread many paths before taking up direction. “I belong to Tekkali, Srikakulam and did my MSc in Mathematics. I started off as a Mathematics teacher and also served in the IT sector. After giving up that job, I worked as an electronic media journalist with a regional television channel. I was planning to take a sabbatical from work before general elections and started to meet my friends to know what goes into the making of a film. Then, I happened to meet Ram Gopal Varma, who roped me as one of his assistant directors for Rowdy,” she reveals.
She adds, “Besides learning the nuances of filmmaking, I realised the need to share my views in some aspects. That worked for me. Ramu is someone who always thinks, lives and talks about cinema. He gives his assistants enough space to learn, improvise and do better.”
Recalling a funny incident on the sets of Rowdy, Sanjana shares, “I was the only female AD for Rowdy and the film’s lead actor, Mohan Babu sir used to call me Rowdy Sanjana on the sets.”