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‘Baahubali’ has given Indian filmmakers license to go big: Rana Daggubati

Actor Rana Daggubati, who awaits the release of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, believes the success of S.S. Rajamoulis “Baahubali” as a franchise has given Indian filmmakers the faith and confidence to go big.

“I think ‘Baahubali’ has proved it that when you’re making a film for the entire nation, it is bigger than any film made in one language. You could be a filmmaker sitting in Madurai and if you have a great superhero film to make, you have the faith and confidence to make your film because there’s a country of audience to watch it,” Rana told IANS.

Does he feel there is sudden urge to make bigger films, especially after the announcement of Mohanlal-starrer multilingual film “The Mahabharata”, to be made on a budget of Rs 1000 crore?

“I think it is amazing filmmakers have started to think big. ‘Baahubali’ has given them the license to go big,” he said.

In “Baahubali” franchise, Rana plays a fictional character Bhallaladeva, who locks horns over an ancient kingdom with his brother Amarendra Baahubali, played by Prabhas.

Asked if he finds surprising that a negative character vis-à-vis all the positive ones he has played so far has won him nation-wide recognition, he said: “It’s a Rs 450 crore war film and it will give you far greater visibility.”

“It is the biggest film in the country and even if I played any other character, it would have given me the same visibility. This is franchise cinema which is far bigger than any film that I have been part of so far,” he explained.

Rana, known for being part of films such as “Leader”, “Dum Maaro Dum” and “Department”, says he has always been on the lookout for projects that transcended regional boundaries.

“‘Baahubali’ helped me explore new avenues across borders. It has given us so much strength that even while sitting in Hyderabad, we could think of making a huge franchise-based film that will be lapped up by the entire nation. It has taught me to take content to wherever I want,” he said, adding the experience of working on the country’s biggest film helped him to “understand and portray a character better”.

“It is because of the experience of working with finer actors and a highly talented director. Everything I have learnt from both the parts of the film will reflect on whatever I choose to do next,” he said.

“Baahubali: The Beginning” had a phenomenal run at the box office. It ended up as one of the biggest grossers of Indian cinema.

Is there a sense of nervousness ahead of the release of “Baahubali 2”, considering part one was a huge hit?

“It is the same story audiences are going to watch after two years. It’s the continuation of what happened at the end of first part. When we were making part one, we didn’t realise how big it will become and where it will take us,” Rana said.

“The fact that it has become a brand and has been accepted even internationally, gives you so much more strength to make a greater part two. Ultimately, everything that we have made in this film is bigger than the first part,” he added.

Talking about “Baahubali 2”, Rana said things got easier while working on this project.

“When we were doing the first part, it was our first attempt in the war genre and everything was new to us. None of us even knew how everything that we are shooting will look in the end with visual effects. There were challenges every single day and it was a struggle to address them,” Rana said.

“Though part two was a physically taxing film in every which way, what we did here was we didn’t make the same mistakes we made in part one. We had bigger budget to shoot, thanks to the success of first part,” he said.

“Baahubali 2…”, which also stars Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan, is slated for worldwide release on Friday.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

‘Baahubali 2…’ team off to Dubai to promote film

The cast and crew of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion ” including actors Prabhas, Rana Daggubatti and Anushka Shetty along with director S.S. Rajamouli will be descending upon Dubai to unveil the film in a promotional event on April 25 at Roxy Cinemas, City Walk.

The occasion will be hosted at City Walk by the film’s Middle East distribution partners Phars Film, Al Nisr Film & Cinema Company and AP International, said a statement.

Jean Marc, General Manager, Leisure and Entertainment, Meraas, said: “At Roxy Cinemas we celebrate the love of movies by going behind-the-screens to reveal the process and passion that goes into the art of film-making.

“We invite our guests to dive into the filmmakers’ creative process as they weave cinematic magic bringing an experience like no other in Dubai. We are therefore delighted to welcome the stars of ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ to Roxy Cinemas, forging together that special relationship between our audiences and the silver screen.”

Also will be In attendance will be the producer of the film Shobu Yarlagadda.

Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “Dubai Tourism is delighted that the producers of yet another epic film from India have chosen Dubai for the launch of their only overseas promotional campaign ahead of the film’s release.

” Expatriate Indians are a vibrant part of Dubai’s multicultural society and with Indian visitors constituting a significant segment of the international visitors to the emirate, we are happy to facilitate such renowned entertainment projects that would further boost visitor arrivals from India in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision to attract 20 million visitors by 2020.”

Released in 2015, “Baahubali – The Beginning” went on to become the highest grossing Indian film within India and the third highest grossing Indian film globally; receiving national and international acclaim.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Please don’t target us: Rajamouli on Karnataka issue

Filmmaker S.S Rajamouli on Thursday requested to the people that “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, slated for release on April 28, should not be targeted for some comments made by actor Sathyaraj nine years ago.

Following some allegedly inflammatory comments made by actor Sathyaraj over the Cauvery row, pro-Kannada organisations have been protesting against the release of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” in Karnataka.

To facilitate smooth release of the film in the state, these organisations have demanded an apology from the actor who plays the character Kattappa in the movie.

“Sathyaraj sir is not the producer or director of the film. He is one among the many artists who have worked in the film. If this movie doesn’t release as planned in Karnataka, he has nothing to lose. It’s unfair to target the film because of some comments he had made,” Rajamouli said in a video message.

He went on to add that people shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to watch the film due to Sathyaraj’s comments.

“I have already discussed the situation with Sathyaraj sir. I don’t have the authority or the energy to talk more on this issue. I request that our film doesn’t get dragged into this controversy,” he said.

As of Thursday, the protest against the release of “Baahubali 2” continues in the city. The groups have threatened to go on a state-wide bandh, if Sathyaraj doesn’t apologise, on the day of the release of the film.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Prabhas’s next to see major spend on action sequences

Actor Prabhas, who awaits the release of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, will next be seen in a yet-untitled full-length multi-lingual actioner. The film’s director Sujeeth says major chunk of the film’s budget will be used on action sequences.

“The scale on which it is being made, major budget will be spent on some extravagant action scenes. Although it will be a commercial outing, we are attempting something new and I would like to keep that as a surprise element,” Sujeeth told IANS.

The makers are reportedly spending Rs 35 crore on a single action sequence.

“Honestly, we haven’t set aside the budget yet. As I said before, we will spend lavishly on action,” he said.

Although he remains tight-lipped about Prabhas’s character, Sujeeth says that the film will be very stylish.

“It will be as stylish as a James Bond film. When it comes to emotions and drama, it will be handled in a way it appeals to everybody,” he said.

International stuntman Kenny Bates, popular for his work on films such as “Die Hard” and “Transformers”, has been brought on board.

“Kenny will be supervising the action scenes. We have already finalised locations in Abu Dhabi and some places in Europe where shooting will be done extensively. We go on the floors from the end of May,” he said.

A special teaser of the film will be attached to “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”.

“We will announce the title with a poster on April 23. The teaser will be released in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam with “Baahubali 2″ in theatres. It has come out very well,” he said.

Asked how they cut a teaser without even going on the floors, Sujeeth said: “We shot for one day. I have spent the last two years of my life prepping for this project. Working on this teaser was equivalent to work on a film for me. Work on the teaser is currently underway in Mumbai.”

The movie has music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. While Sabu Cyril will take care of production design, Madhie will crank the camera.

“We wanted the music to have a national appeal. We roped in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy because they understand north as well southern sensibilities when it comes to composing music. They have also worked in the south,” he said.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

‘Baahubali’ was possible because of Prabhas, says Rajamouli

Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli says a magnum opus like the two-part “Baahubali” could be possible thanks to an actor like Prabhas, who has dedicated so much time to the project.

Rajamouli was at an event here for the IMAX poster launch of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” on Wednesday.

Praising Prabhas, Rajamouli said: “The whole film ‘Baahubali’ was possible because of Prabhas, who being a lead actor in the south film industry, believed in this project and gave three and half years of his life to the film. I don’t think anybody can get so much involved in the project with that kind of passion, time and commitment.”

“I think whether director or producer or any other professional involved in it, we are all being carried on a big ship called ‘Baahubali’. ‘Baahubali’ is the ultimate product and we are the people who worked on it, so I don’t think I am a bigger person than the project,” added Rajamouli when asked about how a filmmaker often gets less attention compared to his film.

Speaking about the IMAX experience, he said: “It was 15 years ago when I first saw a film in IMAX format. In our childhood, we used to see film on 70mm screens and then suddenly we got this larger than life experience in IMAX, through which we literally felt like being in that space and time itself.

“So the first image I saw, and I decided to make my films in IMAX format. And today, when the dream has got fulfilled, it’s a quality moment for me.”

“Baahubali 2” has been digitally remastered in the IMAX format.

Its story lent itself to the format, Rajamouli said, adding: “People need to see it on bigger screens with wider sound to experience what we intended to see.”

“We have big theatres now but we still need more number of theatres to take the audience there. It’s a business model now to release the film in maximum number of theatres to get maximum viewership. And for a film like ‘Baahubali’, where people are anticipating so much about the movie that trailer of the film has crossed 100 million views is on par with any Hollywood film.

“So, it makes all sense to release the film at maximum number of theatres.”

The movie also features Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishnan in pivotal roles.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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