HYDERABAD: For Prajwala founder, Sunitha Krishnan, the road to getting her Telugu film Naa Bangaru Talli shown in theatres has been anything but smooth. Based on a true story, the film deals with sex trafficking, a subject many producers were wary of touching, which is why the film ended up being stuck in the cans for an entire year. “It’s a story of a father and daughter who I came to know of during the course of my work,” says Sunitha, who shot the movie in various locations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The film stars actress Anjali Patil in the lead role along with Siddique, Lakshmi Menon and Ratna Shekhar Reddy.
While the subject matter is serious, Sunitha maintains, “It is not at all dark and is an out and out thriller.” Initially, the film was meant to be a family entertainer but the makers have asked for an A certificate due to the language used. “Even though there is no vulgarity or nudity in the film, there are certain words used in the film which we felt if removed would compromise it.”
“We went to many producers with the script but none of them wanted to take it up as they felt the subject matter was too serious and commercially wasn’t viable,” says Sunitha. This was before the film got the National award for Best Feature Film in Telugu along with Best Background score in 2013. The bi-lingual movie was released in Malayalam.
Even though the film has won critical acclaim from international and national film festivals, winning Best Film at the Trinity International Film Festival in Detroit and four awards at the Indonesian Film Festival, it still hasn’t been picked up by any distributor. “We mortgaged our house and staked everything we had on the film as I feel this is an extraordinary story that needs to be told. We could finish the film but it was the distribution which took a long time,” adds Sunitha. With much at stake, Sunitha and her husband finally turned to crowdfunding towards raising the funds for distribution. “We first posted on my Facebook page after that we posted on the crowdfunding website, Milaap. We got a tremendous response from that as we got funds from 543 people from across the world,” shares Sunitha.
Though their target was a modest Rs 15 lakh, they managed to raise more than that due to the sheer response.
“We raised Rs 32 lakhs and we had planned to release it in 40 theatres but now it will be released in 100 theatres.”
The struggle seems to be over for now as Naa Bangaru Talli is set to release on November 21 with Reliance Entertainment handling the distribution. “We have managed to sell the satellite rights as well which will be in March 2015.”
It will be released on November 21 in theatres in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and the United States
Na Bangaaru Talli is the only film to have won three national awards in the last 25 years. The film dealing with a social issue is based on a real life incident
The makers decided to turn to crowdfunding towards raising funds for distribution on Amala Akkineni’s advice . Over 543 have donated money for the film Malayalam version of the film titled Ente released recently to critical acclaim
Chiranjeevi who recently attended the audio launch of the film said, “When Allu Aravind called me and said that Sunitha from Prajwala foundation, wants to meet me, my reaction was to avoid the meeting as I regularly attend audio functions. If I had known about her I wouldn’t have thought this way. But when we met, I was really moved by the stories she told me. She told me very heart rendering stories of many girls, who became victims of human trafficking. She doing really great work. Audiences, who spend hours for tickets of big hero films, should spare two hours to watch a good film like this. I am sure they will be moved by it”.