Ichata Vahanamulu Nilupa Radu, the upcoming Telugu film starring actors Sushanth and Meenakshii Chaudhary in the lead roles, is set to release theatrically on August 27. It is based on a script that won a talent hunt organised by actor Suriya’s 2D Entertainment banner in 2014.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, the film’s director S Darshan, a former animator, says, “There were about 150-200 scripts that poured in and my script was announced as the winner. Suriya sir listened to the script and appreciated it.”

The film, written and directed by the debutant filmmaker, is backed by Ravi Shankar Shastri and Ekta Shastri of AI Studios in association with Harish Koyalagundla’s Shaastra Movies.

Darshan calls it a “multi-genre, commercial film” and says, “It has a combination of elements, including comedy, romance, and friendship. But at its core is a thriller, which is not really revealed in the teaser. It is based on a real incident that happened to me and my friend in Chennai’s MMDA Colony in 2010. I narrated the incident to a few friends, who suggested making a film out of it. And so, I wrote the script in collaboration with my father.”

Darshan’s father, Kesavan, is a writer who has previously worked with veteran filmmaker KS Ravikumar.

Darshan, who is a native of Tamil Nadu, says he tried to make the film in both Tamil and Telugu, but finally, his efforts clicked in the latter industry. “My father worked as a writer for Damarukam (2012), starring Nagarjuna sir, and I assisted director Srinivasa Reddy on that film. That is how I got in touch with the Telugu industry.”

The film’s title translates to ‘no parking’, and parking plays a crucial role in the film’s chain of events, says the director. “The plot takes place over the course of a single day, but the film also includes some backstory that illustrates the romance and friendship between the characters,” he adds.

When it came to casting, since he was not very familiar with the Telugu industry, Darshan turned to others for help. “Director Vidyasagar suggested Sushanth sir for the lead. Producer Niranjan Reddy sir, to whom I had narrated the script a while ago, also suggested him around the same time. I met him and he matched the image I had in my mind for that character. He also liked the role and agreed to come on board. Meenakshii Chaudhary was cast through auditions. She is not just the romantic interest; the story takes a crucial turn due to her character.”

Other cast members include Vennela Kishore and Priyadarshi.

Ichata Vahanamulu Nilupa Radu, which is shot by cinematographer M Sukumar and edited by Garry BH, went on floors in February 2020. However, production was halted after just 27 days due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The team later resumed filming in October 2020.

US-based Pravin Lakkaraju has composed music for the film, which features five songs. The film has been completed and is awaiting certification by the CBFC.

On the choice to release the film in theatres, Darshan says, “We had some OTT offers, but the makers were keen to release it on the big screen since it has come out well visually. So they waited patiently until theatres reopened.”

The filmmaker hopes to remake the film in Tamil as well.