Surabhi 70MM, the upcoming Telugu film, has a curious relevance to the current times, debutant filmmaker Gangadhara Advaitha tells Silverscreen India. It is about a group of friends trying to save a theatre.
With theatres across the country struggling due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it’s an interesting premise to tackle. However, the pandemic plays no part in the story, which the writer-director says is “purely fictional” and was written in 2019.
Calling Surabhi 70MM an emotional drama, Gangadhara adds, “The story revolves around a gang of five friends and a theatre. This theatre is built by its owner as a symbol of love for his wife, Surabhi. Hence the title Surabhi 70MM. A problem arises for the theatre in form of a land-grabbing real estate baron, who aims to become a politician. He tries to seize the theatre land and the film is about how the five friends save it. The film has comedy, drama, love, and parents sentiment.”
The teaser of Surabhi 70MM, which is backed by producers Seshi Reddy Janga, Lokesh Tanniru, and KS Bobby, was released by the makers on social media on Saturday.
The film was completely shot in live locations at Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh between November 2019 and June 2020. A working theatre in the city, Brundavan Cinema Hall, was rented to shoot the theatre scenes.
The five friends are played by actors Akshitha Srinivas, Vinod Kumar, Anil Kumar, Pawan Mahesh, and Chandhrakanth Dutta. The antagonist is played by Yogi Kathri, while debutant Malik Arjun essays the role of the theatre owner.
Gangadhara says all the actors were chosen through auditions. “In addition to the primary cast, about 20 local theatre artistes were cast in supporting roles, to bring in the authenticity and flavour of the city.”
The music is composed by Dennis Norton and the film features four songs, including one that pays tribute to actor Chiranjeevi, the filmmaker reveals. “There is one Telugu rap song and the other two can be called inspiration songs that are dedicated to friendship.”
Surabhi 70MM is in the final stages of post-production and the team is currently working on sound mixing and colour grading.
Speaking about the film’s release, Gangadhara says, “Since theatres are still closed in the Telugu states, we are looking at OTT options. It is unfortunate that a film on theatre cannot be released on the big screen. We should be able to confirm the streaming platform in about 10 days. If everything works out, we will release the film later this month.”