TELUGU CINEMASS

Apr 13, 2008

Telugu Movie Director SHEKAR KAMMULA Profile

SHEKAR KAMMULA PROFILE



Sekhar Kammula is a critically acclaimed, award winning Telugu film director, writer and producer.

Early life

In Sekhar's childhood, he went to St. Patrick's High School. He was very popular among his friends and became a class leader. He completed his intermediate studies from St. Alphonsa's and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of technology affiliated to Osmania University, Hyderabad. He later landed in the United States to pursue a Graduate degree in Computer Science at New Jersey. After a brief stint in the IT industry, he enrolled in the MFA program at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Career

Sekhar's first film was the so called "commercial formulas" in making his movies. Nevertheless, all his movies have been very well received and have been commercially successful at the box-office, making him one of the revolutionary directors of Telugu cinema. Dollar Dreams. This film was a critical success, and won him the National Film Award for best debutant director. His second film, Anand, was huge hit in the year 2004. Dr. Dasari Narayana Rao, a prominent person in the Telugu film industry, declared Sekhar as "Hero of 2004". His next film, Godavari, was praised by critics, but was a moderate success. He has done his magic again with Happy Days this year (2007). Happy Days which was released in USA on 28th Sept was declared a smash hit. Kammula's films pleasantly lack the omnipresent violence in Indian cinema and this makes family viewing possible. He avoids over dramatization, vulgarity and violence.

Filmography

* Varudu- Mahesh Babu- Under Production
* Happy Days Varun Adarsh, Tamanna Bhatia, etc. (2007)
* Godavari-Sumanth, Kamilinee Mukherjee (2006)
* Anand-Raja, Kamalinee Mukherjee (2004)
* Dollar Dreams (2000)


Sekhar Kammula - a MS post graduate in computer science from USA - had come back to Hyderabad in 1999 when every graduate staying in SR Nagar-Kukatpally belt was desperately trying for work permits and visas to fly to USA. He joined Citicorp as a software professional and spent around 20 lakhs to make his first film 'Dollar Dreams' that fetched him the most coveted National Award in the best debutant director category. After a gap of 3 years, he is back with a bang to make a complete Telugu entertainer 'Anand' with 50% funding from National Film Development Counsel. Know more about Sekhar Kammula with whom every techie who want to enter film industry as director could associate with

I did my graduation in Mechanical Engineering at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Then I went to USA to do my MS in Computer Science at University of New Jersey. I am a hardcore movie buff watching all Chiranjeevi movies on the first show of the first day. But what made feel that I am capable of making films is that I could able to see things differently compared to others. I think I have a philosophical angle to my nature and the way I observe the things.

I spent so much time watching things and I am capable of seeing and analyzing things differently. Hence, I decided that I should enter the field of moviemaking at one point of time. I wanted to join a film institute in USA. But I did not have money. I decided that I would earn money and then join a film institute to hone my skills.

I do love the country USA absolutely. There is lot of scope to broaden yourself. I am not speaking about the power of dollar. One can make money anywhere and anytime. They have tremendous attitude. Whatever they like to do they would do it. They have completely different mindset. I always wanted to return to India because I am attached to parents and I love Hyderabad. So I set my priorities right. Do job. Earn money. Go to film school. And return to India.

I had a very simple life in USA so that I could save money. When I started saving money, I applied for a film school at Howard University. I wrote in the statement of purpose while applying for film school that I tend to think about the things which people tend to ignore when they try accomplishing the materialistic needs. And I love small things in life and enjoy watching the tender feelings exhibited by kids and thoroughly love the things showered by nature upon us. That's what seems to have impressed the Chairman of the film school. He called upon me immediately and offered me admission into institute. I wanted some financial assistance. But they made it clear that its not possible in any film training school. I was one of the best students in the class. When we made small films, there was no ego or hierarchy. We used to work collectively. I used to be the light man sometimes, cinematographer or editor while learning the direction of the film.

I did thesis in my final semester and I did my thesis on screenplay. I have chosen the subject of Anand as the basic story of my thesis screenplay.

Finally I got my MFA (Master in Fine Arts) degree. Its not a 6months course. It's a 3 years (60 credit course) master degree. I had two degrees in USA. One is MS in Computer Science and other one is MFA. After 5 years of stay in USA, I returned to India.

That was in 1999. There was a tremendous boom in software field. As everybody was going to USA to earn dollars, I returned to India to do a job in Citicorp. I slowly started meeting people related to film industry.

There was so much of exodus from Hyderabad to USA in 1999. My sister is a gynecologist. She told me a strange incident that happened in her hospital. A lady was requesting my sister to do a 4th month abortion to her because she would be going to USA a year later and she want her kid to be citizen of USA by giving birth to him/her in USA. I felt that it was heights of insanity. That incident really inspired me. And that's what they taught me in school. Choose the subject of your film from an inspiring incident. I did not think about budget. I did not think about marketing my film. I did not think about the total outcome.

At that point of time 'Hyderabad Blues' was released. That genre inspired me. I pooled up money from my savings and borrowing from my friends. We started a banner called 'Amigos Creations' (Amigos means friends in Spanish). We cast people who are new to film industry for the freshness. The characters in 'Dollar Dreams' speak in 3 languages (Hindi, English and Telugu). I registered the film as English film. At that time I was not aware that I would have got subsidy for the film if it were registered as Telugu language. By the time I completed 1st copy I spent around Rs. 16 lakhs. When I started marketing the film, the distributors were putting questions like 'who is the hero? Who is music director? Which language film is this? I was totally zapped, because I did not have any satisfactory answers for the questions posed by distributors. Still, I has tremendous confidence and guts to continue my mission.

Then I approached the management of Sangeet theater in Secunderabad and told him that my film is a film that people would love to watch in Sangeet theater. I asked him to have a preview show and buy it if he likes the film. But he is pucca commercial man. He said that he would rent theater at flat rate of Rs. 10,000/- per show and he was not interested in buying the film. I had to finally agree for it and I booked Sangeet theater for one show a day for 28 days. We used to go to all corporate houses and fore sell the tickets of the film. It ran for 4 weeks nonstop. Then 20th Century Fox people saw the film and agreed to release it nationwide. He asked me to dub the Telugu dialogues in English. Then we started spending money on other things. We got lots of visibility at national level. But the icing on the cake was National Award (Swarna Kamal) for the best debutant director. Since then things started rolling for me. I sold the satellite rights of the film. I have lots of rights unsold for Dollar Dreams. I am confident that one day I would be breaking even on that project. I lost around 4-5 lakhs on Dollar Dreams. But I am very much satisfied for all the things that happened because of Dollar Dreams.

After Dollar Dreams, I started meeting producers to tell stories. All of them wanted a storyline. When I told them storyline, they used to feel that its too simple. Then I used to give them bounded script of Anand. They used to read a few scenes and tell that its OK. But nobody came forward. Actually a script cannot be read in pieces. Just like you watch a film continuously in a theater for 2 and half hours, one had to read the script continuously from 1st page to last page at a stretch to understand the content and the underlying feelings completely.

I met somebody at one of the film festivals and he suggested the name of NFDC (National Film Development Counsel). I applied for NFDC. Earlier they used to give 100% funding. But most of the makers used to take 50-60 lakhs as funding and spend only 10 lakhs to produce inflated bills. Hence, they wanted to see some accountability from director as well. Hence they came forward to fund 50% of the project. I also liked that idea and I believe 'Anand' would start a new trend in Telugu film industry in terms of funding.

I felt that artist Raja has sharp looks and good smile. He is also a method actor. He does not have any melodrama in his acting. When I personally met him, I came to know that he had formal training in Florida as an actor. I am also impressed by the passion he has for cinema. He trusts my abilities as a director. Its nice to work with an actor who trusts you than the actor who is more interested in number of songs and locations of the songs.

We cast all non-established actors as character artists in Anand. We have been in this process for the past 3 months. Casting the heroines is a big problem. We went to Mumbai and Bangalore and could not get the appropriate one. Then I came to know about a Bengali girl Kamalinee. Did a screen-test to her and she is perfect.

I visited RFC and Nanakram Guda and could not find the right place. I need a big house and an outhouse situated adjacently. I stay in Padmarao Nagar. Hence, I have more proximity by having the set here. Kamalinee is also put up in a house at Padmarao Nagar now. Raja would shifting his residence to Padmarao Nagar for the shoot of this film soon. We all are working on simple things with commitment for an effective result. I am not a typical filmy person. I am not used to studios in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. I want to get the things done in a simple way. 40% of the film's shooting would be done in this set. We have a very homely atmosphere in that set. I want to get out tender feelings from actors and transfer it on to the screen.

The word Anand means joy. If I were to put a caption to this film I would have kept 'the way of life'. Because every film that is churned out today are having captions, I did not have any caption for Anand.

Actually I wanted to keep a couple of montage songs in the film to advance the story. When I sat with Veturi I realized that I could see 1000's of expressions expressed as 2 words in lyrics. Hence we fixed upon having six songs in 'Anand'. All songs are written by Veturi. Veturi is known for efficiency in writing spontaneous lyrics. But he took 30 days to write lyrics for Anand.

I went back to old songs. Its not that we copied any old songs. But we implanted the flavor we find in golden oldies in this film. They also elevate lyrical value. I am writing dialogues myself because I want the dialogues to be natural.

I am great fan of Chiranjeevi since my childhood. Bapu is my favorite film director. I like Tabu a lot. She has great histrionic abilities and sensuality. When I searched for a heroine for Anand, I told the people that I was looking for a junior Tabu.

When we held that Anand's pressmeet, director Krishnavamsi called me and wished all the best and told a few good words. It was a wonderful moment for me.

No. I am feeling secured, because I have my job of software profession in tact. I took vacation from my company and working over this project.

I prefer staying the way I am now. I don't want to churn out continuous films just because my film has become hit. I would prefect to encourage people who worked in my direction departments. I would produce films by making them directors.

nriinternet.com

Telugu Cinemass

34 Comments:

Shrikanth said...

I'm very ' Anand ' to know about an upcoming Indian making ' soft,sensible ' moves without ' valgarity and violence ' I'm glad to call myself an Indian.

Well,I'm still in ' Dollar dreams ' in California,dreaming of becoming a movie director without any idea of what i'm doing. I know every dog as its day...

All the best for your upcoming movies.

I'll need lot of suggestions from you...

shepherdraj@yahoo.com

satish said...

HELO SIR I AM IMPRESSED, I AM REALLY INTRESTED IN THIS DIRECTING FIELD BUT I HAVE SOME POBLEMS,I WILL TRY TO FALLOW IN UR WAY,SATISH

satish said...

PLZ GIVE SOME GUIDENCE TO HOW CAN I APPLY,I AM DOING MY JOB IN INDORE AND I HAVE SOME FINANCIAL PROB WITH OUT JOB I CANT MANNAGE BECAUSE MY FAMILY DEPENDENT ON ME

chanti said...

hi sir...gud after noon...anand cinema godavari laga pongi poyee...happys days laga vundi sir mee life epudu...the same life...i needed...so plz can u help me out...this is my email id sir...amigo 4ru@yahoo.com..ur banner name...ur happy days and chek de imspired me alot...

upendar said...

HELLO SIR I AM UPENDAR I WANT TO ACT IN YOUR MOVIE SO GIVE ONE CHANCE TO ACT IN UR MOVIE I LEAVE IN HYDERABAD SIR I AM VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO ACT IN UR MOVIE AFTER HAPPY DAYS SO I THINK U GIVE ME A CHANCE TO ACT IN UR MOVIE AND MY YAHOO ID IS uppi_utm2008@yahoo.com

Mahindra Reddy said...

I saw all your films. I want to become an actor. If you give me an opportunity I will prove. You have given opportunity for many new comers. My height is 5'8 feet tall, slilm, stylish guy. At least mail me sir. I think that you will see this mail and mail me. I don't know why people at the begining will be telling that I will give opprotunity for everyone but after attaining certain position they will forget that and they will not even see who is he is he capable or not. My home town is Bangalore. Here people admire you a lot. Your a big director now at least you can give me any role in your film. I think that you would consider it and give me an opprotunity to work with you.

Mahindra Reddy said...

I saw all your films. I want to become an actor. If you give me an opportunity I will prove. You have given opportunity for many new comers. My height is 5'8 feet tall, slilm, stylish guy. At least mail me sir. I think that you will see this mail and mail me. I don't know why people at the begining will be telling that I will give opprotunity for everyone but after attaining certain position they will forget that and they will not even see who is he is he capable or not. My home town is Bangalore. Here people admire you a lot. Your a big director now at least you can give me any role in your film. I think that you would consider it and give me an opprotunity to work with you.

Mahindra Reddy said...

I saw all your films. I want to become an actor. If you give me an opportunity I will prove. You have given opportunity for many new comers. My height is 5'8 feet tall, slilm, stylish guy. At least mail me sir. I think that you will see this mail and mail me. I don't know why people at the begining will be telling that I will give opprotunity for everyone but after attaining certain position they will forget that and they will not even see who is he is he capable or not. My home town is Bangalore. Here people admire you a lot. Your a big director now at least you can give me any role in your film. I think that you would consider it and give me an opprotunity to work with you.

Mahindra Reddy said...

I saw all your films. I want to become an actor. If you give me an opportunity I will prove. You have given opportunity for many new comers. My height is 5'8 feet tall, slilm, stylish guy. At least mail me sir. I think that you will see this mail and mail me. I don't know why people at the begining will be telling that I will give opprotunity for everyone but after attaining certain position they will forget that and they will not even see who is he is he capable or not. My home town is Bangalore. Here people admire you a lot. Your a big director now at least you can give me any role in your film. I think that you would consider it and give me an opprotunity to work with you. My email is mahindrareddy007@yahoo.co.in

rocky said...

sir my name is rakesh .........nd am 4m yzag..nd i hav well know abt tolly wood industry........nd i hav very intrest in telugu films..........i hav completed my inter 1st year...........nd my heught is 5.8.....nd sex apppeal is my face wid a awesome hairstyle............. sir actually my aim is 2 become a hero but every one tells that it depends on money but 1 thing sir i have a talent but there is no chance.....nd i hav heard abt u very much...u r da 1st director....wl come induvidually..........nd gives oppurtunity.........2 make something special...............nd u can excpect 100%best result 4m my side............. if u like my attitude.........please make a call or mail me sir.........here's my no-9703950001 i hope that u will call me sir..............here's my orkut email id-wagon_)50cent@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hello Shekar. I am krishna, recently did my MBA in london and currently working for a bank in the UK. I am very interested in acting, your movies are hope giving. You seem to be a guy who gives chances to new commers. Can you please give me chance to prove myself. I am happy to leave everything and work for you for free of cost. Will be waiting for your valuable response.

Thank you,
Krish.

krish1784@inbox.com

saibaba temple under construction said...

HELLO SIR I AM KANAKARAJU UPPADA I WANT TO ACT IN YOUR MOVIE SO GIVE ONE CHANCE TO ACT IN UR MOVIE I LEAVE IN MUMBAI SIR I AM VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO ACT IN UR MOVIE AFTER HAPPY DAYS SO I THINK U GIVE ME A CHANCE TO ACT IN UR MOVIE AND MY YAHOO ID IS RAJU29071979@YAHOO.CO.IN

pavan said...

RESPECTED SIR,
IAM PAVAN JOSHI I WILL BE STAYING AT HYDERABAD I COMPLETED MY GRADUATION ,I AM VERY MUCH INTRESTED TO ACT IN FILMS FROM CHILDWOOD ,IREQUEST YOU TO GIVE ME A OPPERTUNITY IN YOUR FILMS .WHERE I CAN PROVE MY SELF.MY MAIL ID ID balla2546@gmail.com,balla2546@yahoo.co.in.
THANK U SIR,
PAVAN JOSHI.MBL NO 9000439922.

ravi said...

Hi!

I am Happy by reading your profile which was posted.As you said some incidents made you to do the dollar dreams excellent movies.

I would like to tell you about myself I use to obesrving things,analysing the situations,after seeing movies i use to feel scenes to play in different way,and try to put them on paper.

I want a appoinment with you.Please replay to me

Ravi.
ravi_virgo09@yahoo.co.in

satishkumar said...

hello sir this is satish my life ambition is to become a director iam having good knowwledge about films please give me a opportunity working with u
satishkumar.206@gmail.com

ravi said...

Hi, sir. How are u.
I hope u r busy with your next project.
Sir my name is jagadeesh kumar.
I have completed my mca.
I have very much intrst in doing movies as a directr.
I dnt knw whether u wil see this are not but plz can u give me a chance to work with you. I just really like this job sir. Atleast plz let me talk with you. That wil also can give some kind of support. Sir my mail id jagadeesh.adabala.mca@gmail.com and my contact number 9848869337

sathish said...

hii sir hw r ??? ths is mahesh sir,...im stdying 2nd B.TECH sir,..urs films r superb sir,..im intresting in cinima field sir,... u see my photos in orkut,..my id saimahesh4@yahoo.com

SRINIVASA said...

Hi Shekar sir,
My name is J.S. KRISHNA MURTHY, i was seen all your movies. all are simply super. I am also interested to direction and writer. I have very much interested to write a dialogues in movie. If any chance pls give me a chance. pls only one chance give me. I was tried since so many year. pls

bye

krishna murthy
srinivas.kmurthy@gmail.com
9642720888

SRINIVASA said...

Hi Shekar sir,
My name is J.S. KRISHNA MURTHY, i was seen all your movies. all are simply super. I am also interested to direction and writer. I have very much interested to write a dialogues in movie. If any chance pls give me a chance. pls only one chance give me. I was tried since so many year. pls

bye

krishna murthy
srinivas.kmurthy@gmail.com
9642720888

subbarami said...

hi sir this is cherry i want act in filmsbut i dont have any background in industry my id is cherry143143143@gmail.com

Pavan said...

Hello sir, my name is pavan. I want to act in telugu movies and i want to sing songs in tollywood. My favourite singers are karthik and kk. Im following them. How can i enter into tollywood. Please give me chance.

Pavan said...

Hello sir, my name is pavan. I want to act in telugu movies and i want to sing songs in tollywood. My favourite singers are karthik and kk. Im following them. How can i enter into tollywood. Please give me chance. My email id is dijo.379@gmail.com.

Pavan said...

Hello sir, my name is pavan. I want to act in telugu movies and i want to sing songs in tollywood. My favourite singers are karthik and kk. Im following them. How can i enter into tollywood. Please give me chance. My email id is dijo.379@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

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Thank You, Catch You Around

shaik said...

I am very happy to read . thank u . i request u sir i am very interest about the direction please help me sir.

nagurvalishaik@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

hello sir dis is surender...
films directed by you are very creative and message oriented.
so i like your films and your direction very much...
sir i want to act in your films.
my dream is to act in your films.
please fulfill my dreams sir..............

pls sir..,
my yahoo id is
surender_rebal@yahoo.in

chaithanya said...

sir u r movies is so good my aim is i will became an actor so please act me u r next movie sir.i have some storys sir if u give a chance i will tell the storys sir thank u sir
my emailid:chinnu.chaitanya7@gmail.com
mobie:8019909348

Anonymous said...

hi sir gud evening dis is raju siddharth,im big fan of u.i really impress by ur creativity in first film 'anand'and also all peojets,from fast 2&half years im traing a chances in direction department.i loss lat of money by brokers in industry.but im not disapointed.lastly i selected for the movie jenius by omkar garu as a waiting list candiat.i want to work with ur team for the film'LIFE IS BESUTIFILL'my e-mail id rajusiri26@g-mail.com.my cell no 9985469646,9441183021

Anonymous said...

It took me a while to search on the net, only your site open up the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

- Laura

Anonymous said...

sir iam nani
hight:5"10
with fair color
plz give me achance in your movie

my num : 9492876486
< nani.idealguy@gmail.com >

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pujaa said...

hello sir my name is pujaa halder..i am from kolkata....i want to act in a tamil film..i already acted in a bengali movie as a 2nd heroine..now i act in a bengali serial as a 1st lead and other bengali serial as a 2nd lead..my no is 09007872510..my email id is puja1086@gmail.com

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