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"It is 'Nijam', I took a risk"


All his earlier films were entertainment-based as his only ambition then was to make money. But the urge to give back something in return to society that made what he is today impelled him to take a risk and produce a film with a social message.

That was the avant-garde Telugu film director, Teja, who asserted at a media conference last week, "Believe me, it is `Nijam' (the truth). I made a sincere effort to tackle the problem of corruption, which has become a universal phenomenon, and the need for woman empowerment. I know people go to the theatre for entertainment but someone has to take a risk. `Nijam' is a hard-hitting film and it is supposed to be so."

He admitted that the response of cine-goers to the film was lukewarm in the first few days of its release. They went to the hall with high expectations and when they did not find the usual entertainment, humour and rich music, "which are characteristic of my films", they were a bit disappointed.

"But after the first few days, people began to understand the theme and the response was encouraging," said Teja, claiming to have studied the film-goers' psychology. Most of the scenes in the film were based on his own experiences or those of his friends.

The young director, who is known for introducing new talent, revealed his plans to take 45 new faces in his next venture. Would it be a risk again? "No. It will be an entertainment film. But that does not mean I will stop making films with a social message, I will continue taking risks."

Though fond of film production and cinematography, Teja said: "Direction is my first love. A director can prove his mettle with his creative ability and innovation. A producer has to take risks with his money all the time, and there is no thrill in cinematography."

"There are only 14 types of stories in the world and all films revolve around them, whether it is Tollywood, Bollywood or Hollywood. It is only the treatment of the story which differs depending on the creativity of the director."

Interestingly, two of the three politicians, who were invited to address the media conference, admitted that they did not see films. The Mayor, Rajana Ramani, does not see films, at all and the Vizag-I MLA, K. Haribabu, has not seen a film at a theatre for the past eight years. The odd man out, the Anakapalle MP, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, was the only one among the three to have seen `Nijam' and made an interesting analysis of the film.

B.M.G.

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