‘Wanted to tell audience you are good as you are’: Maha Venkatesh

Hyderabad: The director of award-winning Telugu film ‘C/O Kancharapalem’, Maha Venkatesh, always knew that something was amiss in the Telugu movies that he grew up watching. “The films in the last few decades give the audience the message that you are not enough as a man, a woman, or anything. Apparently, a good life is led only by these actors in films. Though my movies I wanted to tell the audience that they are enough. You don’t need to run hard, or struggle for a six-pack to be ‘good’. You are good as you are,” says Maha Venkatesh.
The filmmaker from Vijayawada emphasised how important it was not to preach. He says, “The audience is not stupid. We don’t really have to thrust the message on their face. As filmmakers, we just have to show what happens in the world around us. People will relate to the goodness in that character, will imagine their qualities, and travel with the character. That in itself, will make a good film,” he said.

The film-maker, hailing from Vijayawada, also emphasised how important it was not to preach in films. He says, “The audience is not stupid. We don’t really have to thrust the message on their face and preach about it. As filmmakers, we just have to show what happens in the world around us. People will relate to the goodness in that character, will imagine their qualities as it is already there in them, and travel with the character. That in itself, will make a good film that people will enjoy.”

‘Toxic messages stand out in most recent movies’

Praveena Paruchuri, producer of ‘C/O Kancharapalem’, meanwhile, was of the opinion that there is a lot of toxicity in the recent ‘commercially successful’ films. “The toxic messages you see in some movies bothers me. You can’t help but be influenced by this. Most of it is lazy writing and lazy filmmaking but the audience is watching it because they don’t have any other alternative. As filmmakers, you have to take some responsibility for what you are showing the people. But I also think the industry is slowly changing from that sort of an attitude,” she said.

The Indian-American film producer, who is a doctor in New York, also does not believe in the distinction between art and commercial films. “I don’t really believe in this art and commercial film separation. A good film will be good if it serves its purpose, that is entertainment. If you tell your story in the most honest, authentic fashion, the film will be good, no doubt,” said the producer.

Maha Venkatesh c/o kancharapalem telugu film 2018

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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