Telugu cinema is hoping to lure the audience back into cinema halls with a bouquet of films for Sankranti in mid-January 2021. The line-up includes Krack, Alludu Adhurs, Red and Bangaru Bullodu. The first few months of 2021 are likely to witness a partially virtual and partially real-time engagement in theatres for movie buffs, depending on whether the pandemic shows signs of ebbing and, of course, the impending vaccination.
The spectacle films led by big stars will continue to be around. But also in the works are projects helmed by promising and emerging directors who got noticed for their storytelling methods. A look at what some of these directors are now working on:
Sashi Kiran Tikka
The director has joined hands again with his Goodachari actor-writer Adivi Sesh for the Hindi-Telugu bilingual Major, to narrate the story of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who saved as many lives as he could during the 2008 26/11 attacks. Co-produced by G Mahesh Babu Entertainment (GMB), Sony Pictures and A+S Movies, it is the first non-Mahesh Babu starrer from GMB.
He made an impressive debut with Malli Raava (2017) and further established himself with Jersey (2019). Gowtam has now wrapped up the Hindi remake of Jersey, which stars Shahid Kapoor. The story of an ageing cricketer making a last ditch attempt to secure a place in the national team, and thereby fulfil a promise made to his son, hopes to appeal to the national audience this year.
A period drama that’s set in the backdrop of naxalism, Virata Parvam has evoked curiosity. Venu Udugula’s film stars Rana Daggubati, Sai Pallavi, Nandita Das and Priyamani. Udugula will also be producing a web series through which the Telugu literary work, Maidanam by Chalam, will be adapted to the screen.
After Care of Kancharapalem and Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya, Venkatesh Maha announced a project titled Su Mathi. But prior to that, Maha is working on another project and is keen to break the pattern of the small town, rural setting of his previous films.
Mental Madhilo (2017) and Brochevarevarura (2019) established him as one of the exciting emerging directors in Telugu cinema. His next film is Ante Sundaraniki with Nani and Nazriya.
The Yevade Subramaniam (2013) and Mahanati (2018) director is working on an ambitious project starring Prabhas and Deepika Padukone. That aside, look out for Jaathi Ratnalu produced by Vyjayanthi Movies and directed by debutant Anudeep, starring Naveen Polishetty, Rahul Ramakrishna and Priyadarshi.
The Taxiwaala (2018) director has begun working on his next, titled Shyam Singha Roy, starring Nani, Sai Pallavi, Krithi Shetty and Madonna Sebastian. The story is set in Kolkata.
The genre bender Awe (2018) and Kalki (2019) later, Prasanth Varma has completed filming Zombie Reddy, which is being projected as Telugu cinema’s first zombie film. The story will unfold in a post-COVID scenario in Kurnool.
The Ninnu Kori (2017) and Majili (2019) director’s next, Tuck Jagadish, is set to welcome viewers to the theatres in summer. The first look poster of Nani promises a class-meets-mass storytelling.
Kukunoor isn’t an emerging filmmaker. He was the poster boy of independent cinema of the late 90s and 2000s. However, 2021 will be a homecoming of sorts with his first Telugu film, Good Luck Sakhi, which stars Keerthy Suresh as an aspiring shooter from rural Telangana. Also stars Aadhi Pinisetty, Jagapathi Babu and Rahul Ramakrishna.
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