The first-time filmmaker discusses why he chose to make his debut with the biopic of the Yellandu-based politician
Parameshwar Hivrale, a budding actor, who played key roles in several Telugu films - Chiru Godavalu, Lavanya with Love Boys, t0 name a few - is all set to turn a filmmaker with the biopic of Yellandu-based politician Gummadi Narsaiah. While his dream project is set to take off with popular names soon, he discusses the basis behind his directorial dream in a chat with OTTplay.com
I worked as a lead actor in over 11 films. I’ve been media-shy since I entered the industry and have barely taken part in press meets. Without any godfather, I began my career with Chiru Godavalu made by a group of students from Annapurna Film School. I hail from a Marathi-speaking family but spent my childhood in Kamareddy district.
Being in front of the camera didn’t satisfy me much. I always wanted to be a director, I was an accidental actor. I’ve been waiting for the right story all along. As a viewer, I was attracted to biopics though I took up action films and entertainers in my acting stint for survival. I was in quest of stories of contemporary changemakers who dedicated their life to the masses.
The journey towards his debut
I heard from my grandparents that a life in politics/public service was about sacrifice, however I was appalled to see how it’s reduced to a business. Even after seven decades of independence, we’re addressed as a third world country. It’s a struggle to seek justice, have access to something as basic as education and health services with privatisation.
Decoding Gummadi Narsaiah’s life
I wondered if there were any politicians who raised their voice about burning issues all these years, during which I came across the life story of Gummadi Narsaiah, who has been an independent MLA for over 25 years (from 1983-2009), used cycles and buses to commute on a daily basis.
Back then, politicians lead a grounded life with basic necessities, like a common man and made efforts to understand their problems. Only leaders from the communist party were able to set an example. Though Narsaiah followed their principles, he didn’t belong to their party.
The residents of Yellandu went through much turmoil due to coal mining before his 1983 win - their struggle was nothing less than the Kurukshtra battle. Narsaiah was threatened, lured by power and money, but nothing could deter his spirit.
He had a personal setback with his son’s death and yet it didn’t distract from his larger goal. Narsaiah only served the people and wasn’t a conventional potential, ensuring the development of Yellandu and consistently earning the trust of residents. It’s unfortunate that his life story is not known to many.
Why it’s important to tell his story?
It’s not difficult to make money by telling stories that sell, but I aim to inspire a small section of audience with his biopic. The film may or may not be successful, though my attempt is to trigger some change among the public through his story.
Much like KGF, Gummadi Narsaiah’s biopic has all necessary commercial ingredients to strike a chord with audiences. I genuinely believe my story will make a difference and I’ve held onto it, regardless of all the obstacles I’ve faced. We’d recently finalised a popular actor-director to play the lead role.
I approached many artists for it, and though they said yes initially, they opted out due to time constraints and commercial obligations. I wanted to release it during the election season, but every film has its destiny. Kiran Kallakuri of Adwitiya Movies, who produced Krishna Rama and Grey, came forward to back it. An eminent actress has come on board to play the daughter’s role.
Why the daughter’s role is equally significant in the biopic?
Gummadi Anuradha was witness to all the struggles that her father faced, believed that education was a tool to progress. Narsaiah’s daughter studied law, funded her education through part time jobs and became a professor later. Upon repeated requests from the residents, she took long leave from work, entered politics, contested as an independent leader though her father advised against the idea. It’s hard to imagine the biopic without her character and the actress we’ve roped in was quite motivated to be a part of it.