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Srujan Yarabolu on 'Adbhutham', his upcoming movies & more

Saturday, November 27, 2021 • Telugu Comments

Producer Srujan Yarabolu recently had a release in the shape of 'Adbhutham', which is streaming on Hotstar. In this interview, he talks about his journey since the time he became a distributor, his upcoming movies, his vision as a producer and more.

Excerpts:

I used to distribute Telugu movies in the US since 2015. I was in the US at that time. 'Kanche' was my first movie. 'Mahanati', 'Arjun Reddy', 'Gautamiputra Satakarni', 'Padi Padi Leche Manasu', 'Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada', among others, are my releases overseas. I distributed about 30 movies.

I come from a software background. I wanted to invest in movies even when my first salary was in my hand.

I turned a producer with 'Manu' with the son of Brahmanandam garu. 'Suryakantham' and 'Manu' became a flop. I then decided to become a solo producer. 'Adbhutham' was supposed to be my first release. But due to the pandemic, other films were released first. 'Gatham' (Amazon Prime release) and 'Thimmarusu' happened during the pandemic. The latter was produced along with Late Mahesh Koneru.

I have eight more movies lined up in the coming months. They are either collaborations with others or solo productions. 'Panchatantram' with Ticket Factory is among the immediate next ones. A film in Kannada is titled 'Old Monk'. 'Solo' in Telugu and Hindi is in the making. A movie with Raja Gautham (Brahmanandam's son) as the hero was launched recently.

'Adbhutham' was thought to be a theatrical release. But due to the pandemic, we couldn't do it. It's streaming on Hotstar. The deal was wrapped up five months ago. I am very glad that Chiranjeevi garu himself has tweeted about our movie. He tweeted it out of his own interest. The media and the audience are giving positive feedback.

All my films have been unique and different. They are not regular ones. One of my films has no heroine, no song, no fights. I am not sure whether it will click with the audience. We watch songless movies made by Koreans. Why can't we do it ourselves? I go by content. That's why I am not limited to doing Telugu movies. 'Panchatantram' is content-driven with no one actor as the male lead. 'Manu' and 'Gatham' were exclusively content-driven. 'Adbhutham' and 'Thimmarusu' had both content and commercial ingredients.

Not every story clicks with the theatrical audience. Only some stories have that potential. For small films, you have to know the promotions game. You have to market it well. It's easy to promote a star-hero film. You have to convince the audience that your film has got good content.

A couple of films with big names is in the pipeline. They are commercial films. I might announce one of them in January or February.

If the quality of a movie is not good, OTTs don't pick them. 'Gatham' was bagged by Amazon Prime for the reason that it had great content.

Family audiences are yet to return to theatres Overseas. I hope 'Akhanda' will have a good market. Balakrishna garu's movies have good traction on Day 1 in the overseas market. It has to be seen if 'Akhanda' will sustain after that. There is definitely the threat of another lockdown. Already a new variant is causing concern. Travel bans will be reimposed. If there is another lockdown, the film industry will struggle to survive.

'Mahanati' and 'Arjun Reddy' are the most profitable films in my career as a distributor. 'AWE' was bought for a small amount and the returns were great. I earned more (in terms of percentage) on it than producer Nani.

As a producer, I am doing films that not many will dare to make. Two of my films are experimental. One of them is a survival drama with a spin. I have rejected nearly 300 scripts in recent months.

I want to remake both 'Thimmarusu' and 'Adbhutham' in Hindi. I have got their remake rights. Next year, there will be five films from me. I am distributing 'Skylab' in overseas market.

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