Producer Rajesh Danda of the budding banner Hasya Movies says that he has got plans to produce more and more movies. His next releases this year include Sundeep Kishan and VI Anand's 'Ooru Peru Bhairavakona' and Sree Vishnu's 'Samajavaragamana'.
"I have never compromised on the budget front with respect to movies that I have made so far," says Danda. Listen to him talk about his journey as a distributor of more than 80 movies.
I started out as a distributor with 'Swamy Ra Ra'. I later distributed movies like 'Karthiekya' and 82 other movies. Recently, I distributed movies like 'Sarileru Neekevvaru' and 'Maha Samudram'. My success rate as a distributor has been very high at about 80% year after year. I distributed the movies of Mahesh Babu ('Sarileru Neekevvaru'), Naga Chaitanya ('Majili' and a couple of others), Nikhil Siddhartha and Sundeep Kishan selectively.
My journey as a distributor since 2014 has been seamless. I have famously co-produced films like 'Naandhi' and 'Okka Kshanam'. As a distributor, I would buy movies based on the poster/teaser/trailer. 'Raja Vikramarka' was one such film. I feel I am more in control of my decisions as a producer. Both fields have their own set of challenges but I would say production is a better option.
I have been close with Sundeep Kishan and director VI Anand. We collaborated and started producing 'Ooru Peru Bhairavakona' on Hasya Movies. I began producing two other movies with the support of Anil Sunkara garu because I distributed six of AK Entertainments' movies. I take good scripts to Anil garu and listen to his judgement.
Due to some reasons, 'Ooru Peru Bhairavakona' has been getting delayed although it is our first movie as a producer. Producers' strike, heavy rains, etc. are among the reasons. Since this is a supernatural fantasy film, the CG work are taking a lot of time. It was always expected that 'OPB' would need a high budget. The script very much demands it. I am not taking any risk, I believe. I am not selling the movie to distributors as yet even though there is demand in the market. I will seal the deals after the teaser comes out. 'OPB' is fun to watch, and has a grand scale... It will be a pakka VI Anand-style fantasy. We are planning to release the movie in June or July.
'Itlu Maredumilli Prajaneekam' is my first theatrical release as a producer. It didn't make monies in theatres but its OTT streaming has been successful.
'Samajavaragamana' is a family entertainer that will be released in Summer. Sree Vishnu is doing a full-on comedy film this time. It will be like 'Nuvvu Naku Nachav', 'Geetha Govindam', 'Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu' and other family hits. It will be released by myself. I am not on the lookout for distributors because its budget is high. Distributors will have to pay a higher figure. So, I don't want to go for them. The title is because of the popular 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo' song.
After 'Naandhi' became a hit, Allari Naresh listened to about fifty stories, of which only a story that I sent was okayed. That is nothing but 'IMP'. I will be doing a film with him next. It will be directed by Subbu of 'Solo Brathuke So Better'. I will be its sole producer.
I am in talks with Sree Vishnu with respect to another project. I want to do a film with Sai Dharam Tej. I personally like him a lot and have known him since I was a distributor. I have plans to do another film with 'Naandhi' director Vijay Kanakamedala.
It is not true that the audience are not visiting theatres these days. The success of 'Balagam' puts paid to the myth that people don't encourage small movies.