'Annapurna Photo Studio' stars Chaitanya Rao and Lavanya Sahukara in lead roles. Set to hit the cinemas on July 21, 'APS' has been directed by Chendu Muddu. In this interview, the second-time filmmaker talks about the film, saying that the story of this week's release revolves around 7-8 characters. A photo studio comes alive as a character, he suggests.
"Our film has got the qualities of a good movie," Chendu says with a sense of satisfaction. "This is a complete fiction," he adds.
'O Pitta Katha' is my previous film. It didn't become a hit in theatres, but it has been successful on OTT. 'APS' is my second film. It's a clean comedy entertainer with thrills and suspense. The 1980s backdrop has a reason. 'APS' has got a pure love story. When technology was not used by ordinary people, love used to be expressed in pristine ways. Today, we just text on WhatsApp to communicate with our lovers. The period backdrop is the USP of my film.
Both my films have a strong rural scent. It was not planned. It just happened. That said, the stories of the two films are entirely different. 'OPK' was a contemporary story. 'APS' is a period love story. In 'APS', a photo studio is like a character in and by itself. The male lead's mother's name is Annapurna.
Right at the start of the film, a disclaimer says that I and my team couldn't do away with some signs of modern-day paraphernalia like mobile towers. We have urged the audience not to nitpick. The focus of the audience has to be on the story, ideally.
The audience don't mind the period in which the story is set. 'Sita Ramam' was set in the 1960s. Finalizing the right locations was the biggest challenge. We shot the movie in the Godavari districts and also in Kerala. While we had budgetary limits keeping in view the non-star cast, the producer was fully supportive. I feel fortunate that I found such a producer. Yash Rangineni garu guided me like a brother and a friend. Chaitanya Rao has got a vintage look. He found the story extremely interesting.
I have completed an anthology already. It might release in theatres or OTT first.