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Happy as can be

Sekhar Kammula is set to spread smiles with his ‘Happy Days’

Shekar Kammula

Dream focus

From Dollar Dreams (1999) to Happy Days (2007), Sekhar Kammula focused on the dreams and aspirations of the young. In the process the maverick director not only won critical and box office acclaim but also a coup le of National and State awards.

“When I make a film the first thought that crosses my mind is ‘why should I make this film; why I took this subject?’ I start the shoot only after I get convinced. I can not make unreal films,” says Sekhar. That explains why there were only four films from him in eight years since he made his debut with the national award winner, Dollar Dreams the first crossover film from a Telugu filmmaker.

How different is his Happy Days from the other celluloid campus stories, one tends to know. “Youth are projected from one direction in Telugu films. A student as a lover boy or caught in gang war etc. My film shows them as the y are. It is only natural one have career options, romance, heart breaks and fun and frolic during the college days. I project contemporary Telugu in my films. Today’s Telugu students speak a Telugu lingo of their own. I write contemporary Telugu dialogue for them.”

Sekhar prefers actors who suit the roles than write roles for the established ones. For instance, all the lead actors in Happy Days, are fresh faces drawn from New Jersey to Hyderabad.

When asked about the evolution of Sekhar Kammula as a filmmaker from his first film to now, pat comes the reply. “As a person I remained the same Sekhar. As a filmmaker may be my budgets are increased. Technical values might have gone up but not my story content which always ends on a happy note. I may not preach idealism. But I do believe that every filmmaker has a social responsibility too. I make pure films. Even a villain character has its positive side to show. They are sans melodrama, gory violence or sleaze. The characters behave like just normal humans. My films focus on happiness. At the end of the show when one leaves the theatre one should sport a large smile.”

Well that sums up Sekhar Kammula’s philosophy of movie making. May be we need more of his ilk.

M.L. NARASIMHAM

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