Special Interview: Vakeel Saab fame Sriram Venu

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Growing watching his films to directing Powerstar Pawan Kalyan, the journey of Sriram Venu was not easy. He happened to be a huge fan and admirer of Pawan Kalyan. He is now directing his demigod in Vakeel Saab, the remake of Pink. Here is a special interview of Sriram Venu about his journey in Telugu cinema and how he bagged an opportunity to direct Pawan Kalyan and his future projects:

I was born and brought up in Medipally, Jagityal district. My father is a tailor and I have two young siblings (brother and sister). I was a bright student till the completion of school. My father had his own principles in life and those brought me here in Telugu cinema giving me an opportunity to direct Powerstar.

I started my career as an assistant director with Sukumar’s Arya and went on to work for films like Bhadra, Bommarillu, Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Munna and others. It is then Dil Raju offered me a direction chance. I directed Oh My Friend. My brother was getting married in a month and my father was busy constructing a new floor in our home. When things are extremely fine, I lost my father in a small accident right after the release of Oh My Friend. This was my first and biggest shock in my life.

Months after the tragedy, I came back to Hyderabad. Oh My Friend’s result left me with no offers. I penned a script for Pawan Kalyan but could not meet him. I met couple of big actors and three young actors but got rejected. Five years after the release of Oh My Friend, I got an opportunity to direct the remake of Banglore Days but the project was shelved due to various reasons.

I worked on a script for Ravi Teja and the film too got shelved after its official launch. My struggles continued and the failure of Oh My Friend taught me many beautiful lessons about life and cinema.

It is then Nani’s MCA happened. The film ended up as the biggest hit in Nani’s career and is the biggest grosser of him to date. I received numerous offers after the release of MCA but I went on personal lockdown and penned the script of Icon. Allu Arjun accepted the script but it was delayed due to various reasons. In this while, I met Dil Raju and Trivikram Srinivas who discussed about Pink remake with Pawan Kalyan. Trivikram felt that I could handle the project well. This is how Vakeel Saab happened.

I had a short time and completed the script meeting the deadlines. Pawan Kalyan was extremely impressed with the script and we started shooting this year. Working with Pawan Kalyan garu is a memorable experience. Forget about the tensions, he never forgets to respect people even in a hurry. There is not a single day he missed using ‘garu’ on the sets.

My father took advance for his work for tailoring but he never used the advance amount before he completed the work. I took advances (cheques) from three producers but never cashed them. Will cash them only after I sign the project. As of now, I am waiting to complete the shoot of Vakeel Saab and will shift my focus on to Icon soon after the release of Vakeel Saab.

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