Hyderabad: None would have imagined that one day cinema would break the walls of regional spectrum. ‘Stories showcasing different lifestyles with indigenous treatment’ is the set formula for filmmakers nowadays. The pandemic heralded a season of hope for wannabe filmmakers to experiment with less-explored storylines.
A bunch of software professionals settled in the US came up with an independent Telugu psychological film titled Gatham which was entirely shot, filmed and processed in America. This is the first Telugu independent film that is releasing on Amazon Prime on November 6.
Directed and written by Kiran Kondamadugula, Gatham has newbies hailing from various parts of America. It was shot in about 30-plus days in locations of California, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The entire cast, except a few, comprises Telugus who are into the IT industry. “Almost everyone has been into short-filmmaking or acting over the years. We shot in December 2018, and since it was off season, we had plenty of time and availability of people. So we were able to wrap the schedule up during the long weekends,” says Kiran, a self-taught filmmaker who has so far directed about 13 short-films like A Winter To Remember and Where is Ayush?.
Going beyond logic
The movie harps on the psychological aspect of protagonist Rishi who happens to lose his memory. During a long drive with his girlfriend Adithi, the car breaks down midway, and the couple finds themselves in a tricky situation when they are offered help by a stranger in an undisclosed location. Thus, mystery unravels with each sequence getting more engrossing.
Things get progressively dark and spiral out of control with unexpected twists and turns. They find a way to escape and what happens next is vital not just to Rishi’s past but someone else’s too. The emotional flip in the character arcs the quest to find the missing piece in the puzzle which drives the narrative intensely.
“I don’t deal much with straight-forward narration. I sat on the script for over a year. There are movies that are usually based on memory and psychology. Drama, tragedy, love and action… all have been explored in the past. But I wanted make it a psychological thriller. A thriller that should go beyond logic where the viewer shouldn’t even guess who is a protagonist or antagonist in the first half,” says Kiran, adding that the budget they incurred is comparatively low due to the casting of newcomers.
Hyderabad-born Rakesh Galebhe, who is part of Gatham, has over 25 short-films to his name. “I came to the US in 2013 to do my Master’s and settled here. Over the years, I’ve done 25 short-films like Prayanam, Possessiveness, Love Logic, Foreign Sambandam, Vasantha Sameeram, and Silent Melody with MR Productions. Gatham is a new script which I haven’t come across in the past. Director Kiran is a good storyteller whose forte is to weave thrillers. Female lead Poojita Kuraparthi and Bharghava Poludasu did exceptionally well. Sricharan Pakala’s music will be an added highlight for the movie. Gatham will certainly make audiences embark on a spine-chilling journey,” says Rakesh.
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