It’s a game and it’s animated
Indraganti Mohanakrishna’s romantic comedy draws its title from the traditional game, Ashta Chemma.
On the sets Indraganti Mohanakrishna with the cast.
At the Green Gold animation studio in Secunderabad, Indraganti Mohanakrishna is busy working on the titles for his latest romantic comedy, Ashta Chemma, produced by Ram Mohan under Art Beat Capital banner. We note that it has been a while since we came across titles with animation characters. The director tells us that the film is a romantic comedy and he has used 2D animation to drive across a few points in the film.
The images move on the screen while the artists and technicians work on them. Green Gold has earlier made Krishna for cartoon network and is now working on Chota Bheem.
In this film, the four characters that appear as cartoon caricatures are the lead pairs. Nani, a radio jockey and US-based Srinivas make their debut along with the heroines who are known faces on television — ‘Colours’ Swati and Bhargavi. Take a closer look and you realise that there is no resemblance between the lead actors and the caricatures.
Indraganti explains with a smile, “The animated characters represent them but they do not resemble them.”
Ashta Chemma is now a forgotten traditional game once popular with youngsters. Indraganti assures that like the title, the film is also native and all the actors have dubbed their own voices. “Even the five songs composed by Kalyani Malik have been rendered by Telugu singers.”
Indraganti evidently takes pride in making a true Telugu film. He is particularly in praise of lyricist Seetharama Sastry for his outstanding contribution to the songs. “He has enjoyed writing the lyrics, especially the retro song.”
The story written by Indraganti, takes us to the rural areas of Gudala, near Amalapuram, where most of the shoot was held apart from Hyderabad. Nani, whose real name is Naveen, was selected through auditions while Srinivas was selected from a talent hunt.
Apart from the four lead actors, Thanikella Bharani, Jhansi, Vasu of Amritham fame, and Hema and Madhumani in a cameo are part of the cast. P.G. Vinda, who shot for the director’s award winning debut Grahanam, is the cinematographer in this film too.
The director tells us that his crew is a mix of the young and the experienced. Producer Ram Mohan is an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad. He picked up the nuances of the business of cinema by working with Suresh Productions, Just Yellow and UTV. While promoting the film, the makers want to emphasise on the revival of the traditional game of ashta chemma. Says an excited Indraganti, “This generation may not know about this ancient outdoor game. So we are working at an online version. We will bring out CDs so that youngsters can play the game on their computers.”
The romantic comedy is slated to release in July.
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