(Article contributed by Ratnakar Sadasyula)
We have seen their movies, enjoyed them, and hated some of them too. But how much do we know about the people behind the camera, the directors?? The men who make the movie. Here are some trivia about famous Telugu movie directors!
1. G. Ashok who directed Pilla Zamindar(with Nani) and Sukumarudu(with Aadi) is a classical dancer himself, and acted as a child artiste in T.Krishna’s 1986 movie Repati Pourulu. He worked as a child artiste in many Telugu movies, and started out as a choreographer. His first movie as a director Akasha Ramanna was a flop, while his 2nd movie Pilla Zamindar, though not a big success, was praised by viewers.
2. Vijaya Bapineedu’s real name is Gutta Bapineedu Choudhary, and he comes from Eluru. Graduate in Maths from CRR College, Eluru, he was the editor for a popular movie magazine Vijaya during the 70s. As a director, he had a very succesful combination with Chiranjeevi, with a slew of hits – Magamaharaju, Khaidi No 786, Gang Leader.
3. Bommarilu Bhaskar’s real name is Puran Chand, and he is from Vellore in TN. A student of FTI in Chennai, he worked as an assistant director for movies like Bhadra and Arya.
4. Director Bapu’s real name was Sattiraju Lakshminarayana, and he was a B. Com, BL graduate from Madras University. He worked as a political cartoonist for Andhra Patrika. Interestingly his family used to reside in Madras, but when the Japanese bombed it during WWII, they left it for Narasapuram. Mullapudi Venkata Ramana was his classmate at Naraspuram and also later at Kesari High School, Chennai. Ramana’s first short story “Amma Maata Vinakapote” was illustrated by Bapu in the 1945 edition of Bala a children’s magazine published by Nyayapati Subba Rao(also called as Radio Annayya); that’s how their association started.
5. Maruti is from Machilipatnam. He learnt animation in Hyderabad, and joined DQ Entertainment, where he was one of the first batch of animators. He used to paint signboards and number plates of vehicles to earn money for his studies. He worked as a distributor, as also Ad designer. He designed the flag for Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party, also gave the logo for Athadu.
6. Deva Katta did his MS in Mech Engg from Wayne State Univ, Detroit, also worked with General Motors. He made a digital documentary about Indian students in US called Valasa, and his first feature film Vennela was about the same topic too. And then he became more noted with Prasthanam.
7. Kotayya Pratyagatma, who directed such notable movies in 60s like Bharya Bhartalu, Kula Gothralu, Manchi Manishi, Amma Kosam, was from Gudivada. His son is another notable director K.Vasu.He used to work as a journalist for the magazine Prajasakthi and later as an editor for Jwala. He introduced Krishnam Raju into movies with Chilaka Gorinka.
8. Adurthi Subbarao was from Rajahmundry where his father worked as Tehsildar,he did a course in Photography from St.Xavier’s Mumbai, and worked in the Bombay Film Lab. He initially started as an editor and screenwriter.He made his debut in Hindi cinema as an assistant director for Uday Shankar’s Kalpana. Amara Sandesham was his first movie as a director in Telugu, but he got noted with Thodi Kodallu, based on Sarath Chandra’s novel Nishkruti. He introduced actor Krishna in Tene Manasulu, who also published his biography later.
9. Kamalakara Kameswara Rao, known as Pauranika Brahma due to his mythological epics, is from Machilipatnam, and used to work as a film critic for Krishna Patrika, where his reviews were widely appreciated. Worked as an assistant director to K.V.Reddy, and his directorial debut was Vijaya’s Chandraharam, which however flopped. His next movie with Vijaya, Gundamma Katha was a major hit, and that established him. He is known for his period epics- Narthanasala, Panduranga Mahatyam, Pandava Vanavasam, Mahamantri Timmarasu are some of his most notable ones.
10. K.V.Reddy was from Tadipatri in Anantapur dt. He was a Graduate in Physics from Presidency, Chennai, and worked as cashier with Vauhini Studios. While his Maya Bazaar is widely regarded as a classic, another movie of his: Donga Ramudu is included in curriculum of FTII, where it is studied extensively.
11. Jandhyala Subramanya Sastry was from Narasapuram, and he did his BCom from SRR-CVR College in Vijayawada.He was a noted play wright even in college days, and his first play was Atmahuti, but he got popularity with his next play Ek Din Ka Sultan, a satire. He had a fruitful collaboration with K. Viswanath, writing the dialogues for movies like Siri Siri Muvva, Sankarabharanam. He also wrote for commercial movies like Adavi Ramudu, Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari, and he used to dub for Tamil movies into Telugu. He gave the dubbing for Prakash Raj in Iddaru, the Telugu version of Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar, and also for Gemini Ganeshan in Bhamane Satyabhamane(Telugu version of Avai Shanmughi).
12. Vamsi’s real name is Nallamalli Bamireddy, and he hails from Pasarlapudi in East Godavari district. He worked as an assistant director to Viswanath for Shankarabharanam. Sitara was adapted from his own novel Mahal lo Kokila, and he has written many short story collections too.
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