A few hours ahead of the premiere of Cinema Bandi, the maiden venture of Raj and DK‘s D2R Indie, Mirchi9.com caught up with Raj Nidimoru. DK was supposed to join us but he took the vaccine jab the other day and was a bit down. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Mirchi9: Firstly, you are Telugu people and the entire country is talking about you. Let me tell you we are all very proud.
Raj: Thank you so much.
Mirchi9: I wanted to ask this question to both of you, but only you will answer it now. The film industry is a place known for egos, as you know and as we know. How is it possible for the two of you to work with so much compatibility?
Raj: You are correct. We know each other for almost twenty years and we made everything together. Direction is usually an extremely single profession. Director is the captain of the ship and he can all call shots. When we have two people in that place, it is difficult but maybe we have strong roots as we started together. Even then people separate but we feel movie-making is teamwork and so we are enjoying the process of working with another director as well. We have been working with new directors for Stree, Thumbaad, and now for Cinema Bandi. We are always happily collaborating with nice and different filmmakers.
Mirchi9: You started D2R Indie to encourage new formats and new filmmakers. Why Cinema Bandi as your first?
Raj: We did not plan as such to choose something for our first project. We have been doing this for a long time. People approach us with stories. We help them in developing the stories. We mount them with actors when needed. There are people who come back and tell us why don’t do end to end. We then came up with this.
Mirchi9: How can someone convince you to produce a film?
Raj: People come to us because we give them creative space regardless of the small or big films. When Praveen and Vasanth came to us, we liked it but asked them for a trial shoot. There should be something in the concept that should excite us. We should be excited in the first five minutes of narration. Sometimes the passion also helps. Praveen and Vasanth came up with a picture book and their preparation impressed us. More than the story, their homework impressed us. They came back with a 40 minutes short film and they managed to keep it organic as they said.
Mirchi9: You were into mainstream cinema and then, you are making it big in the OTT space as well. What does the OTT offer to a filmmaker?
Raj: OTT offers unlimited creative freedom. It is not about incorporating cuss words, vulgarity, and taboo concepts. People are looking more at those things. The constraints and requirements of a commercial cinema will go off with OTT. You are down to story-telling, actors in OTT. Only in OTT, you can see real actors because there is freedom.
Mirchi9: How is Netflix on board for the film? Did they watch the film or is it just about Raj & DK brand?
Raj: I am sure they were happy about our presence. They wanted to see the film. I sent them the film and they liked it. They came back to us after two days and sounded very exciting. They would have rejected it if it is a bad product. Netflix picked it on its merit.
Mirchi9: I know you will be skeptical about answer this question. But it is one of the most popular questions these days. What’s up with The Familyman 2? and is there a third part?
Raj: As we said a few days ago, The Family Man 2 is releasing this summer. Amazon will tell about remaining. But I can say it is coming this summer. Yes, we have the idea for the third part as well. In fact, we have it for every series in fact. It will be Amazon’s call to do that or not.
Mirchi9: When can we expect your directional debut?
Raj: We started our journey in Hyderabad and we love to do a film in Telugu. We were ready two years ago. Everything was set but last-minute logistics did not work out on the actor’s side and our side. We have a couple of scripts ready and we hope it will happen soon.
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