Pindam is an upcoming Telugu horror film which is going to hit screens worldwide on December 15. It’s directed by Saikiran Daida and features Srikanth Sriram, Kushee Ravi, Srinivas Avasarala, Easwari Rao, Ravi Varma. Other cast members include: Manik Reddy, Baby Chaitra, Baby Leisha, Vijayalakshmi and Srilatha. 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. During the Pre-release press meet, the entire cast interacted with the media on Monday. Here are the excerpts.
Producer Yeshwant Daggumati: Pindam is getting released in theatres worldwide on December 15. So far, we are content with how the film has reached out to the public. The response from the audience was amazing so far.
Q)Yeshwant, the story of Pindam is a horror genre. Director Sai Kiran has experience in directing an indie film ‘Smoke’ in Hollywood. Why did you choose this story to be made in Telugu?
Naturally, we are from Telugu so we picked a story from this land and made a film. So we want to reach out to only Telugu audiences first. So we are releasing Pindam in Telugu.
Actor Sriram said, “Sorry for being late. The Singapore to Chennai flight got delayed. I am glad that I am here without skipping the event. I somehow landed in Hyderabad by catching inter-connecting flights. I am so happy to be here. It’s a joyous occasion to share everything about the film Pindam. Please watch the film in theatres and I wish you all love it.
Q) Does Pindam have anything to do with exorcism? Did you mix both science and paranormal activity?
“This world is full of science. There is also the paranormal. You can’t say yes or no. We don’t have a choice to disapprove. Mathematically if there is plus there could be also minus. If we are going to temple at one single stroke of time, it brings so much positivity in us. We didn’t go with the specifics of exorcism in the film, we have some quality work in it.”
Q) Okariki Okaru is still fresh in audiences’ minds. Do you think Pindam reinvent your image, create a proper second image in Tollywood. Do you think author-backed roles would come to you after Pindam?
“Whether Pindam is going to reinvent my image or not, I am not sure of it. But Pindam is not some “hero-centric” film. Script is the hero here. It could be anyone, it could be Kushee or Eshwari or someone. I am part of a content-driven script, I am happy about the fact that I have a scope as an individual. I have many more projects coming up after Pindam.”
Director Sai Kiran Daida: The story started with an incident that occurred somewhere in Nalgonda district. And by weaving a fictional story to it and by thinking what genre it best suits — we finally decided upon going with the horror genre. It is a carefully crafted script. The story has been articulated very well so much so that it has the scare element to hold the attention of the audiences. Keeping this in mind, we rewrote the story as and when it was necessary. Me and our co-writer Kavi Siddharth garu rewrote it more than 100 times. It is made with rigorous pre-production work. We toiled more for the film than what a big movie deserves. We made ‘Pindam’ with so much perfection. I request media persons to watch the film, and support us.
Q)What was the reason to give the title Pindam to a horror script?
I felt the title Pindam was apt during the process of ideation. Definitely, there will be an audience who might watch the film for the sake of fear. And the next lot is those who watch it for the story. And people who are very frightened and weak-hearted, it is better not to watch it.
Q)Pindam is being hyped as the scariest horror film ever in Tollywood. What is so frightening in Pindam compared to those of RGV’s most prominent films?
Sai Kiran Daida: My favourite horror film is Ratri directed by Ram Gopal Varma. It was a straight-forward horror genre film. And Pindam is also a straight-forward horror film. There is no comedy, romance nor a sentiment. And I myself know how we shot this film. How well we crafted this film which has a horror element that scares the audience.
Q)Usually, a horror film follows a pattern in Indian cinema. A family enters a haunted house. A demon is cited by kids. It has a flashback, and frightening things keep occuring. Is this the same format Pindam follows?
This format is because, if you study a paranormal activity. A negative energy possesses a location. That is why maximum haunted stories are in the same patterns and they have to follow that pattern to evoke fear. And Pindam is going to be very different for sure.
Q)Usually, children are exempted from performing rituals during the time of Amavasya? What was the reason to shoot kids performing rituals in the movie?
Sai Kiran Daida: We planned a six-day schedule. That was the last day. We were not aware that it was Amavasya. We started shooting at 5 am, by the time it was 9 pm. everyone (kids) appeared with tilaks on their foreheads. We didn’t know that it was Amavasya. Proper care is taken to ensure that kids are not harmed on the sets. Parents also cooperated with us very well.
Actor Kushee Ravi said: “I keep manifesting good things. I always wanted to work with good directors, good producers, good actors and good technicians. And I wish it is full now. I thank Yeshwant for offering this role. I request everyone to watch the film Pindam and support us. I am playing the character named Mary in Pindam, a christian woman with two kids. In ‘Spooky College’, I played a teenager and a college-goer. And in Pindam, I played a mother of two children. As an actor you have to always break the stereotypes. As an actor you need to break the routine, always playing glamorous roles or playing for dance numbers doesn’t help, you have to be unique. Basically I am a theatre artiste, we’re told to do unique roles everytime. Even after Diya, heroines are beauty shorts, rich intro scenes. Then Diya, I did a sombre character. I am okay to do commercial films as well. I want to explore things.
Lyricist Kavi Siddharth: “For the first time when I heard the script from the makers, the nature of the story moved me a lot. The story begins with a question how to infuse the natural fear into a person without any preconceived notions and conditioning. Fear is as old as it existed. Usually, the fears that we faced during our childhood continue to haunt us even after adulthood. Predominantly, man has an impulsive nature hidden inside him. Our team tried to bring that from the story. We tried to translate it while showcasing positive elements of human relations on the screen.” Kavi Siddharth, who worked earlier with Pawan Kalyan’s Gudumba Shankar later worked for Bithiri Satti’s film, said he is happy to have collaborated with director Sai Kiran for Pindam. “As you all know, my rapport with a director depends on how he looks at the story. I worked for 12 years with Pawan Kalyan. He has a keen eye for a story. When I met director Sai Kiran I could see how intensely he wanted to tell the story on the screen. We need to give what it demands. If all these come together — literature, cinema and life, the story would come out really good if three elements are infused in a story. Ram Gopal Varma’s Raatri is a very good example. The entire team is a very matured lot and took the project forward. Eshwari Rao has done so beautifully on the screen.”
DoP Satish Manoharan said: “The movie has come out very well. We need your support. It would give a good experience to audiences.”
Music Krishna Saurab: “I would like to thank my director and producer for giving me the opportunity to score the music for the film. Not just horror, the main thing is it travels between three dif periods 1930, 90 and the present. Me and Sai Kiran were very keen on what we want on each particular frame and you will experience the same in theatres.”