“Well, then, why don’t we make a movie ourselves”. Hailing from mana Vizag is a local boy who is now making it big into the industry as a director, talks in an interview about his upcoming film, Cinema Bandi. Netflix released the trailer for its next Telugu movie, “Cinema Bandi”. It has since been buzzing with appreciation from the fraternity as well as the audience. The trailer gave a glimpse of what happens when an auto driver gets hold of camera equipment and decides to produce a movie? Well, the answers you would get on 14 May 2021 on the Netflix release of “Cinema Bandi – Everyone is a filmmaker at heart”. A movie that celebrates the craze of cinema in all of us, is all set to make every movie enthusiast dance to its tunes.
Produced by Raj and DK, as they venture into the way of producing independent movies, this movie is directed by Praveen Kandregula. Apart from directing the movie, he is also credited with the screenplay. Praveen has been a cinematographer for the past few years. He has his origins from Visakhapatnam. Yo! Vizag got the chance to have a one-on-one interview with the director, Praveen Kandregula about his experience as a filmmaker and how the film Cinema Bandi came to be.
Talking about his journey from Vizag, to the big screen, Praveen said, “I have done many films as a cinematographer before. I used to study at GITAM and after that went I went to Whistling Woods International, a film institute in Mumbai. After completing my education, I went on to be a part of several ad films. I have made around 30 odd short films as a director, which are all posted on YouTube.”
When asked how he feels about having his movie bankrolled by Raj and DK and released on Netflix, this is what he had to say-
“It is a dream come true for me. Generally big producers join you only after your successful ventures. But I had the fortune that Raj and DK came on the script level itself. It was the confidence that they had on the subject. They were confident with the whole crew of the movie. How Netflix took the movie forward is like a dream come true. So with this whole new set of actors, the crew, everything is new. Netflix taking it upon such a big platform is all a dream come true moment for me.”
Everyone’s been amused by the unique plot of Cinema Bandi and is wondering how Praveen Kandregula came up with this idea. Here’s what he had to say about it-
“This movie basically narrates my experience, it is like my personal story. When I was in the seventh standard, I had a camera with me. Shanmukh Jaswanth and Harsha Chemudu from VIVA (a famous YouTube channel) are my friends and we basically started off together. So with the camera, we wanted to create something at that point of time when I was a kid. That was my major inspiration for making this film”
He also revealed how the popular Indian producer-director duo Raj and DK came on board for this venture. “We met them at “Film Bazaar” (which is a movie festival conducted every year in Goa. It is a place where all the filmmakers can pitch their own ideas) and pitched them the idea. They thoroughly liked the idea and asked us to make a short film on it. So, we made it and they liked the short film too and agreed to produce the picture.”
Talking about his experience making this film, Praveen shared, “We had a lot of challenging times, like Raj and DK wanted the movie to be as raw as possible. They asked us not to go commercial, not to go for trains, tracks, and trolleys. They wanted the film to be shot in an authentic way with the equipment along the way. It was like mostly Guerrilla shooting happened.”
In the interview, the young director stated that the pandemic didn’t affect the shoot of Cinema Bandi. “The whole shoot happened before the pandemic. We wanted a theatrical release but even having our movie on Netflix is a big deal for us.”
There is no particular memory that I can say. Yeah, there was a scene in the movie, where we had to shoot a scene with the train. So we had to wait for the train to come. Basically, only two trains were scheduled to run on the track that day. One was at 6 AM and the other was at 10 AM in the morning. So we had to get the shot in these two times. If we fail, it’s lost, so we had to shoot at any cost. For that, we had a five-camera setup to get the shot right.
Praveen Kandregula also talked about his past experience in filmmaking, stating that this is not his first time as a director. “I have done 30 short films already, so directing is something which is not new to me. It was always present in me, even though I am a cinematographer. So the experience that I had helped me with this movie.”
He also has a message for the people who are planning to watch Cinema Bandi. “The caption itself says “Everyone is a filmmaker at heart”, so that is present in everyone. I think everyone would connect to that idea. Everyone wants to do something in the cinema, even my father does. Telugu people have the craze of cinema basically, it is always there in their hearts. That’s the whole point that I want to convey through this movie.”
Praveen Kandregula, in the end, said, “I am very excited. I have no words to communicate how I feel. The movie has lots to tell on 14 May and I am eagerly waiting for the day to convey a lot more laughs and emotions through my movie for sure.”