'10th Class Diaries', directed by 'Garuda Vega' Anji, stars Sriram aka Srikanth and Avika Gor in lead roles. Also featuring several others, the nostalgic rom-com hits the cinemas on July 1.
In this interview, director Anji talks about his product.
This is not a fictional story. The producer Achut Rama Rao wrote it based on his real-life experiences and observations. That's why you will find a wide range of elements in the movie. I have previously worked with him twice as a cinematographer. We have always shared a strong rapport. This is a story with rare sensibilities. I didn't want to debut as a director with a thriller or a regular commercial entertainer. I am also doing films as a cinematographer simultaneously.
My experience as a cinematographer helped me understand the visual appeal of cinema and how scenes work. I have got to work with several directors over the years (starting with Ram Gopal Varma). When the producer of '10th Class Diaries' narrated the story, I decided to go in-depth. I marshalled my wide experience to give my best shot. Moreover, I received thorough support from my team.
Cranking the camera for 'PSV Garuda Vega' changed my surname. I have since been called 'Garuda Vega' Anji. The credit goes to its director, whose unique visual sense made me deliver the output I did. Since then, quite a few movies done by me have fetched me a name for my cinematography work.
The male protagonist in '10th Class Diaries' had to look middle-aged. That's why I chose Sriram for the role. Moreover, I have known him for many years. He is handsome and at the same time looks mellow and emotional. He can make the audience emotionally connect with his feelings.
Avika Gor looks like a girl-next-door person. The character needed those vibes. After 'Chinnari Pellakuthuru', she has had a certain image. That's why we picked her. She and Sriram are superb actors. They also come with vast experience as actors.
The reunion segment in the film is going to be a major high point. The film also keeps the audience in suspense till the end. It is not inspired by '3 Idiots' on any level.
I was 15 years old when I entered the film industry. As such, I don't have fond memories of my adolescent days. While making '10th Class Diaries', my mind did wander into my childhood days at times. The story was not written by me. I had to adapt it. I have previously worked as a cinematographer on a remake. I was privy to the script discussions at that time.
Suresh Bobbili has composed the songs, while Chinna has done the BGM. 'Needhi Naadhi Oke Katha' was Suresh's first movie. I asked him to compose songs with that feel. The BGM has injected life into the film. I should thank the producer for not compromising on quality. He gave me complete freedom because the story came from his banner. A lot of celebs have tweeted about our movie and promoted it across digital platforms. So many cinematographers have supported our movie.
My next film as a director is ready. Senior director G Nageshwara Reddy has penned its story and screenplay. The film is 'Bujji Ila Raa', starring Sunil, Chandini Tamilarasan and Dhanraj.
I will wield the megaphone only if something inspiring comes my way. Otherwise, I will stick to cinematography.