My confidence on ‘Pindam’ grew after watching Sai Kiran Daida’s short film ‘Smoke’: Srinivas Avasarala

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The upcoming Telugu horror thriller ‘Pindam’ is slated to release in theatres worldwide on December 15. Directed by Saikiran Daida, the film features Srikanth Sriram, Kushee Ravi, Srinivas Avasarala, Easwari Rao, Ravi Varma. Other cast members include Manik Reddy, Baby Chaitra, Baby Leisha, Vijayalakshmi and Srilatha in crucial roles.

The movie is produced by Yeshwanth Daggumati and co-produced by Prabu Raja. The story is written by Saikiran Daida, Kavi Siddhartha and Toby Osborne. Actor-director-writer Srinivas Avasarala, who played a crucial character in Pindam, interacted with the print/web journalists on Wednesday. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Q) What was your first reaction when director Sai Kiran Daida narrated you the script Pindam?
When director Sai Kiran narrated me the story, I also happened to watch his work ‘Smoke’. I felt the short film has an unexpected twist in the end which I didn’t expect. Thus I felt writer-director Sai Kiran has the talent to hold the viewers’ attention.

Q) Have you given any advice in terms of the title ‘Pindam‘?
I didn’t give any suggestion. But when I heard the narration for the first time and when the director told me that the title is ‘Pindam’. I shot back at him saying I have an issue with the title. Basically, the story is about the death of an unborn child. How a girl child transforms into a wandering spirit — is what the story is about.

Q) How is your character in Pindam going to be?
I play Loknath who investigates and researches on super-natural beings. He happens to meet Eshwari Rao, who is an expert in the subject. How the events occur in the process and what is in store for the lead protagonist. The story sets in three different timelines.

Q) Being a writer yourself, have you given inputs in dialogues or in script writing?
More than giving my inputs on the film sets, I would always want to learn from others. Everyone has their own style of narrating a story. I happened to watch and learn on the sets of Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja’s upcoming film ‘Eagle’. It was a good learning experience watching how the dialogues in big-budget film are written and executed.

Q) What you have to tell about this genre?
I am not a big fan of horror thrillers. But, unexpectedly when I happened to watch a film named ‘Prema Katha Chitram’, I liked the way audience had reacted to it. I was surprised by audiences’ reaction for the story. So attention span of audience is more for horror genres compared to other films.

Q) Do you have any plans to direct a film like Pindam in the future?
I have one script coming under the genre horror comedy. But it is not as scary as Pindam. It has an emotional graph. Ghosts usually have unfulfilled desires when they depart their bodies. It is very hard for spirits to free themselves from bondage in this dimension.

Q) What kind of trend Pindam is going to set?
Sai Kiran is a very passionate filmmaker. After working in IT for a long time he collaborated with his friend Yeshwant Daggumati to make a film in Telugu. This film should create good success for their team. I hope they come with ore films in the future.

Q) Rather seeing you as a filmmaker, audiences are getting to see you quite often on the screen. What is the reason?
I am doing quite less. The films that I had signed in the past are slowly coming to the fore one after the other. We started Eagle somewhere in the last year. Now it is releasing for the Sankranthi festival. I have ‘Kismat’ and ‘Kanyasulakam’ which were started long back. I spending more time on script writing and ideation.

Q) Why do you recommend the audience to watch Pindam?
Previously, I used to urge audiences to watch our film. Later, I wondered why I was requesting them to watch it. If they like the trailer and the glimpses, they would definitely come to theatres to watch it. And one thing I want to tell about Pindam is — if you watch the short film ‘Smoke’ directed by Sai Kiran Daida. If you are impressed with it, you would definitely watch Pindam for sure.

Q) What do you like the most – script writing, acting or direction?
I like writing because it gives complete freedom. Acting is someone else’s dream. I feel if you want to be a part of that dream, sometimes you have to work without properly knowing it. If you strike that resonance, acting comes out so good. Whereas, direction is all about managing people. Seventy percent of film direction is managing people.

Q) You happened to work for mainstream films as well as web series in Telugu. Which is the most challenging work?
Writing web series is an arduous task for a writer, I feel. I would say Tollywood is yet to accustom this kind of format. Say for example, a web series has a five hour duration. Emotions in mainstream films have a different pace when it is not the same with web series. If we can perfectly sense the ebb and flow in a web series, it becomes easy for us. Ultimately, if we get what is the conflict with the character and its design on a base level, both are the same.