August 08, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Many NRIs have given up their plum jobs to follow their passion of filmmaking in India and most of them have been successful. Producer Mahi is one of them. He had worked as an assistant director for Vinayakudu, written the entire script, screenplay in English for Village Lo Vinayakudu and turned producer with Village Lo Vinayakudu and Kudurithe Kappu Coffee, he now is all set to make his debut as a director with Patashala.
Mahi says he was never excited being a producer, it happened accidentally but direction is where his forte lies. "Our education system deals with a different kind of learning but Patashala doesn't mean school, it is a sacred place of learning. This one is a coming of age story, a road film. It is the last day of college and the 21-year-old friends begin their journey to each others hometown. They are on the crossroads of life and their journey changes in this course. It's a dramedy and will be told humourously. The Patashala will be on the road and will not be preachy."
The director says the five friends set out on a journey on the last day of college and have their own conflicts. The journey would have taken a different turn if there were no conflicts. What happens on the road has a few sub-plots holding the whole film and driving the change in them that will show how they confront their fears and overcome their conflicts.
How similar will it be with the other campus stories? "There is no point in making a film that has been done. We don't have a road film genre and also for any debutant the beauty is to come up with your own plot. In summer holidays we would go to each others hometown. We might go to a college for four years and know each other superficially but when we each go to the hometown we see their family and the friend in an entirely different perspective, it is a different discovery of friends."
The casting will begin from August 15th onwards and the shooting from the 21st November. Mahi observes that the audience has a tolerance level when it comes to new faces. "We still will go into the conventional method of casting someone fresh for the well-etched roles. We will not get a great cast but the audience will not have a problem with them.
We tied up with a couple of companies for the talent hunt. The target audience is the youth. It has no resemblance to Life Is Beautiful which is set in a colony, this is more close to Dil Chahta Hai."