Spending childhood in libraries and learning about the social issues people are facing, through books and through word of mouth, is what has motivated him to make documentaries.
The 29-year-old, Dulam Satyanarayana who is pursuing Associates Degree in Scottsdale Community College Arizona, started making short films in 2007 and his debut film Moushumi spoke about the solar power used in Sundarbans.
His short film Dreadful Fate, which is based on residents of Nalgonda facing problems due to high fluoride levels in water, won him accolades. The movie received a Special Jury Award at International Film Festival in Nasik.
Talking about his movies he says, “At International Health Film Festival in Athens, the film motivated the residents to work towards the cause in their country. Around `25 lakh was raised through it.” The documentary was also screened at the convention on biodiversity held in Hyderabad in 2012. Apart from that, it also earned him a fellowship programme at Scottsdale Community College.
With no formal training, making films was not a smooth ride for him. “Apart from just budget, I had to figure out how to capture the subject well with my camera all by myself. Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurasova and Mani Ratnam’s films taught me the art. I followed them and their movies religiously and picked up tips,” he recalls adding that with every film, he manages to find a new lesson which he applies in his next film.
Coming from Mancherial in Adilabad district, he picks subjects from his personal experiences. “While shooting films, I use narrative style as I find it more impactful and engaging than fictional films or short films. I follow a particular character and make it more narrative for the viewers,” he adds.
Speaking about the hurdles he faced through out his journey as a documentary filmmaker, he says, “Hurdles come everyday but one hurdle that I face every time is that of budget. I use social media to raise funds.”
He has recently also made short films for Telangana Tourism department. “I have made two short films till now which speak about the heritage of Hyderabad and Hyderabad as a destination for various business conventions,” he tells us.
While technology has made work easy for filmmakers, his tip to newbies is to understand the language of filmmaking and not just jump into making one. “One should understand the purpose of an angle before using it to shoot,” he advises.
Satyanarayana who also owns DSN Films, a production house in the city does not upload his films on YouTube as he thinks that his hard work deserves to be paid. He is trying his hand at marketing and distributing his documentaries through DVDs, home videos, etc.,
Since then he has nine short films in hand– all of which focus on social issues.