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Interview of producer Srujan Yarabolu about his career

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Distributor-turned-producer Srujan Yarabolu is happy that 'Adbhutham' has become an OTT hit. In his latest interview, the young producer reveals that he has a bevy of projects lined up not just in Telugu but also in other languages.

'Kanche' was my first movie as an overseas distributor, thanks to producer Rajeev Reddy garu. I went on to distribute about 30 movies, out of which 18 made profits. 'Mahanati' and 'Arjun Reddy' are the most profitable films for me as a distributor in terms of returns. I also distributed a big movie like 'Gautamiputra Satakarni' and hits such as 'Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada', which was bought at a reasonable price. 'Pelli Choopulu' was another such movie. Even after becoming a producer, I am distributing movies in the US but my partner is looking after them.

I have been passionate about movies since I was very young. Despite my being busy with my software work, I have always been keen on movies.

After distributing several movies, I tried my hand at film production and bankrolled 'Manu' in 2018. It turned out to be a flop, so also my subsequent movie 'Suryakantham'.

Coming to 'Adbhutham', its OTT deal with Disney+Hotstar was locked five months ago. From the audience to the media and the likes of Megastar Chiranjeevi garu, they have also lauded its content. (The movie stars Teja Sajja and Shivani Rajasekhar and is directed by Mallik Ram).

'Adbhutham' was supposed to be a theatrical release in early 2020. The pandemic had other plans. I then sold 'Gatham' to Amazon Prime last year. My recent theatrical release 'Thimmarusu' gave me good returns.

'Panchatantram', which I am co-producing in association with Ticket Factory, is my immediate next. It's not a regular film. For that matter, one of my films, both past and future ones, is regular. They all are either novel or experimental. 'Panchatantram' is driven by its characters, none of whom is a lead actor per in the conventional sense of the term.

I am also producing movies in other languages. I am co-producing 'Old Monk' in Kannada. I have other interesting projects lined up. In Hindi, I will be remaking both 'Thimmarusu' and 'Adbhutham'. The former of these two is the remake version of a Kannada film titled 'Birbal'. In the case of small films, figuring out the marketing game is the crux.

As a producer, I have been listening to hundreds of scripts. I must have said no to 294 scripts in recent months. I am particular about bringing out strong content-driven cinema.

In the US, I would watch movies before the first reviews are out. Slowly, I developed a sense of what kind of movies would be loved by the audience.

Big movies are hoped to pull the audiences to theatres in the US and other overseas markets. 'Pushpa' and big movies in January next year are expected to become hits. But the new variant is already showing its impact. If one more lockdown is there, it will be very difficult for the industry to cope up. Nobody knows how the next wave is going to be like.

If I find the right script and actors, I will do big films as well. Raja Gautham has signed up for a film with me because he loved the script. It's a survival drama, a genre popular in Hollywood. There is a twist to the same in our movie.

Updated on November 27, 2021
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