One of the most popular writers in Indian film industry, Kona Venkat, was in the city recently. Teja Kovvali got talking to the man and here’s what he had to share.
How did films happen to you?
“I never thought I would come into films. They happened purely by accident. Ram Gopal Varma’s younger brother is a dear friend of mine and I used to meet the director quite often. Gradually, I started participating in discussions with him over the scripts. Soon, I got the opportunity to associate for the script of ‘Satya’, along with Anurag Kashyap and Saurabh Shukla. One thing led to another and I ended up working with some top names in the industry.”
Did you ever face “creative hurdles”?
“They say, people, in my line of work, generally encounter something called ‘The Writer’s Block’. The situation is, apparently, when the writer’s thoughts stop flowing and end up hitting a stagnation point. Luckily, I have never faced something of this sort until now.”
How’s your experience of working with young directors and writers?
“Many young writers and directors approach me with fresh concepts and relatively newer storylines. However, owing to inexperience, most of them get stuck at a point and face challenges in developing the plot further. This is where I chip in. When I listen to them, my horizons get widened and I start fostering their thoughts further and transform them into a tightly-knit screenplay.”
Do you think getting influenced by Western cinema is good?
“I personally find no harm in it. It’s a creative world that we are working in. If we stop appreciating others’ work and do not adopt necessary aspects, we would stop growing eventually. Getting inspired by World Cinema has led to the emergence of new age filmmakers and audience in India.”
Have the audiences here started accepting new age cinema?
“Thanks to the rapidly growing digital space, world cinema is now at our fingertips. People now have access to a wide range of films. They have started appreciating different genres and are developing a liking towards unique plots. Our sensibilities have started to change which has raised the bar for more and more filmmakers to improvise and come forth with innovative scripts.”
What are your future projects?
“I am currently working on a thriller with Aadhi Pinisetty and Tapsee Pannu. I am also set to work with Academy Award winner Oscar Whitaker for a film that will be a blend of two cultures-Indian and Western. It would have actors and technicians from India and the US. It would certainly be the next big thing in Indian cinema.”
How has your association with Vizag been?
“Be it the inspiring sea or the beautiful cross culture that is infused into the city’s vibe, I love Vizag for a variety of reasons. In fact, right from ‘Venky’, I have written all my scripts here.”