Pindam will keep audiences on their toes: Producer Yeshwanth

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Pindam is a multi-genre film that is hitting the screens worldwide on December 15. Produced by Yeshwanth Daggumati, the film is directed by a newbie Saikiran Daida.

Starring actor Sriram, Easwari Rao, Ravi Varma, Srinivas Avasarala, Sriram, Kushee Ravi in key roles, the movie is produced under the banner Kalaahi Media.

In a chat with media persons on Saturday, producer Yeshwanth divulges some insights about his career in IT and venturing into films.

“I own a chain of software companies in the USA. With the urge of venturing into filmmaking, I returned to India along with my friend Saikiran Daida. However, we happened to stumble upon this story Pindam rather than producing our own story which we earlier decided. Hearing the title Pindam, I was perplexed the same way as others. If a soul has to take birth, it has to enter into a pindam. And Pindam is offered when a person vacates a body. People may have different perceptions about the terms and theories revolving around it. But I felt intrigued by its storyline. Director Saikiran wrote the story within a week. Storyboarding was done within 10 days. The entire cast was finalised within no time. And when I went on to the sets in June.”

Yashwanth says his first film was supposed to happen with actor Siddu Jonnalagadda. “It was a crime comedy. But the lockdown gave a heavy jolt to the plan. Everything had gone haywire. The visas and other formalities were cumbersome so we held the project back. Kona Venkat was also the co-producer of the film. Now we came with Pindam. It is a multi-genre film. It has a message with elements of horror stretching to the timelines of 1930 to 1991 to 2023.”

Is running a film production the same as running an IT company?

More or less it is the same as we have to deal with people. It is about managing people.

Why did you have to select Sriram as the protagonist in Pindam?

After writing the story, we have a few names for the casting director. Sriram’s name was new and audiences haven’t seen him in Telugu for the past a few years. Director thought Sriram would fit the bill so we selected him. The director has earlier made a Hollywood film starring the local artistes in the USA. The film titled ‘Smoke’ won second prize in a film festival contest.

How is Pindam different from other horror films in Telugu?

Usually, if you want to scare audiences with a horror film. It has to be a story that delves on a proper background, there would be a backstory for every story. And you make best possible climax for a horror tale to frighten the audience. But in Pindam, from the word go, there are some 50 scenes that make viewers scared every 10 minutes. I think this is the first time a horror film has so many frightening scenes.

Tell us about the title Pindam?

Pindam is the apt title for the story. I want to establish our production with a realistic touch. I am not here to make a film and jet off to the US. I have 10 more scripts to get onto the sets.

Mostly, NRI producers from the US come to India and suffer a lot due to practical problems. Have you faced challenges for the debut film Pindam?

I have a strong support team. Mainly my manager Suresh, next our casting director, next is our Assistant Directors. Without all their support, I wouldn’t have executed it well. When my cashier could not make it in one day, I distributed the payments in the end. The technicians or the lightboys or the junior artistes had to come from Krishna Nagar to Ramoji Film City at 6 in the morning. Imagine how painful it is to get up early in the morning and come to the sets on time which is two hours far from your home. And they earn a paltry Rs 1,000 at the end of the day. I felt sad and helpless. I couldn’t do anything, but things have to move forward. I treated them as my own team.

Don’t you think it is very difficult to release a film if you are a newcomer?

Actually, I felt how challenging it would if I had to go for my own release. But after watching the trailer, many distributors have come. We picked the best with a good rate. For digital release, we’re in talks with a couple of them. OTT is almost finalised.

You must have faced many practical challenges. Tell us about it.

One day, we’re shooting in a remote location where you cannot see a house in plain sight. Seven years kids are playing on a terrace at midnight after 12. It happened to be a Sunday Amavasya. One of the mothers was worried about her girl and asked us to take her child with her. However, we convinced her by applying tilak from a nearby temple. That night, we underwent a terrible mess. My manager Suresh broke his leg. A person suffered seizures. Eashwari garu got hurt on the face when a doll slipped out of Sriram’s hand. That was a horrible night. Yet we managed to complete the shoot.

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