Hyderabad: His documentaries showed the world that there was more to Telangana than what was known; that there was an undiscovered part of India’s youngest State. And his efforts have now made the locations in his documentaries popular among tourists and filmmakers alike.
Noted documentary filmmaker B Purna Chandra says for every child, home is the first school. His father, he recalls, was his first teacher. Born in Jannaram and brought up in Utnoor, Purna Chandra says not everyone in the village knew or spoke proper Telugu, since the village was close to Maharashtra. “It was my father who made sure that we learn, read books regularly and we hold a strong command of the language in spite of being from a tribal community,” he says.
A student of Saraswathi Shishu Mandir till Class 10, Purna Chandra shifted to Hyderabad for his intermediate studies. Being a creative person from his childhood itself, he started to explore the city and tried his hand at writing short stories that could be weaved into films. He completed his BSc and later did his Diploma in Journalism. His first job was with a TV channel and later, the Telangana movement saw him join TNews.
“Once I joined TNews, there was no looking back” says Purna Chandra, who was the first person to shoot a Bathukamma song on a TV channel along with TRS MLC K Kavitha in 2009. The song was a massive hit.
Purna Chandra has had quite a few hit programmes to his credit. Maata Muchata, a programme named by Prof Jaishankar, and which introduces the rarest of the rare folk songs, singers, writers, and many other artistes from Telangana.
“Through this show, more than 1,200 artistes were brought into the limelight,” says Purna Chandra, who also directed TV programmes like Dhoom Tadhaka, Campus Keratalu, and the super hit show Daruvu hosted by popular host Udaya Bhanu, which has 400 million views on YouTube.
In 2015, Chandra started his own production company, Moon Productions, where his first project was for the Department of Tourism, Telangana. He brought out a series of 50 episodes known as Discovery of Telangana where he introduced 50 different places of the State, for which he received the Best Director award for tourism documentaries for two consecutive years.
His other well-known documentaries are on Kaleshwaram, Mathura, Gussadi and Dagaa Padda Telangana.
He said, “I received appreciations from the Chief Minister for the Mathura documentary which I made on a rare Lambadi tribe community.”
Purna Chandra, apart from directing the latest video song of Rahul Sipligunj, has recently worked for the book ‘Vriksha Vedam’ where some of the photographs used in the book was contributed by him. He also completed an independent film ‘Chiti’, which focuses on farmers’ issues and was written by Deshapathi Srinivas.
“We are waiting to send it to international film festival awards once the entries are open,” adds Purna Chandra, who has a few commercial film projects lined up.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.