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April 27th, 2006

PS Ramakrishna, Founder Of Bharani Studios

Bhanumathi and husband Ramakrishna founded Bharani Studios named after their son Bharani. Its first movie is 'Ratnamala' with ANR in the lead role. Ramakrishna was a talented director. He produced and directed 'Laila Majnu' with all seriousness and application. In addition to being a director, he was a good editor and technician. The range of the movies he produced and directed includes serious movies like 'Batasari,' devotional movies like 'Vipra Narayana' and comedies like 'Chakrapani'. Though he lacked the ability to get things done, he had sound judgment. He had a good sense of humor. He produced and directed Ratnamala, Laila Majnu, Prema, Bratuku Teruvu, Chakrapani, Vipra Narayana, Batasari, Sabhash Raja and Grihalakshmi with ANR as the hero. Sabhash Raja and Bratuku Teruvu are the only two movies he directed for other producers. ANR featured as the hero in the Tamil versions of Prema and Batasari.

Singer TG Kamala Devi

Originally Govindamma, TG Kamala Devi was born on 29-12-1929. Her sister Jayamma was Nagaiah's wife. She had her first opportunity in movies in film 'Choodamani'. Those days actors used to sing for themselves without the help of playback singers. She earned name as a good actor for her role in 'Mayalokam'. She acted opposite Nageswara Rao in 'Mugguru Maratheelu'. She starred in 'Malleswari' as the heroine's ishtasakhi Jalaja. She sang some of the songs Krishnasastry wrote for 'Malleswari'. She lent her voice to Padmini, B. Saroja Devi and Lalitha. She had the heroine's role in Tamil 'Kanjan'.

Her first preference is for the stage. She had the distinction of acting the role of Alexander twenty five times. She received a gold medal and 80 silver medals for her performances in plays. She married Avula Chandrababu Naidu of Madras Water Works. She acted in Kanchukota, Asadhyudu, Bangaru Sankellu, Kathanayakudu, Bangaru Panjaram and Pettandarlu. At its Kurnool meeting in 1983, the Andhra Pradesh Nataka Academy honored her with the title, Nataka Kala Prapurna. She is a sportsperson too. She bagged the championship in Women's billiards competition held by the Tata Institute in Jamshedpur. She has held the office of the president and secretary of Chennapuri Andhra Maha Sabha since 1956. She is the first Indian woman to play billiards and the first to win the championship in the game, but unfortunately she has not received the encouragement and recognition she deserves.

April 16th, 2006

P. Ramakrishna with ANRSinger P. Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna was born to P. Rangasai and P. Ratnam on 20 August, 1947. Well-known singer P. Suseela is his paternal aunt. His first seeing Ghanatasala at Gemini Studio when he went there along with his aunt during the recording of the song 'Pillanagrovi Pilupu' made him very happy, says this singer. In the beginning he used to sing light music for AIR Yuvavani programs under the music direction of Chittaranjan. He sang two songs unexpectedly in place of B. Mohanaraju for a family planning documentary. ANR happening to hear the songs offered him an opportunity to sing along with Suseela for the film 'Vichitrabandham.' Ramakrishna had examinations coming in two months, and ANR was good enough to wait till the exams were over to have the songs sung by Ramakrishna. His first movie song is 'Vayase Oka Poolathota.' His other number, 'Chikkavu Chetilo Chilakamma' had the youth of the day swinging.

ANR used to say that 'our' P. Ramakrishna's voice had all that could be expected from Ghantasala's voice. His memorable songs include 'Manasuleni Devudu' and 'Telugu Veera Levara.' The two valuable gifts he received are the life size portrait of Ghantasala from a fan, and an autographed Canadian dollar note from another fan Dr. Haribabu. These two gifts fulfilled his desire for a photograph with Ghantasala. NTR had all the songs in 'Srimadviraat Veerabrahmendra Swamy Charitra' sung by Ramakrishna. His songs in the movies, Andala Ramudu, Mahakavi Kshetrayya, Chakradhari, Danaveera Sura Karna, Andaru Dongale, Bhakta Kannappa, Mutyala Muggu, etc., brought him great name and fame. He gave live concerts in the US and Dubai. B. Vasanta combined with him first but later Jyothi replaced her. He married her and his son Saikiran acts as a hero in movies.

Pakkinti Ammayi - A Movie With Many Firsts To Its Credit

It appears that producers raking in profits with the filming of Bengali stories began with 'Pakkinti Ammayi.' This story has been made into a movie in almost all Indian languages, and in every language it has become a hit.

Until studios were built in Madras, Telugu films were made in Calcutta. However with the starting of New Tone, Vauhini, Neptune and Gemini studios in Madras, a number of production houses including Vauhini, Vijaya, Sobhanachala, Bharani and Prakash competed with one another in turning out quality movies. Still 'Pakkinti Ammayi' was made in Calcutta because its producers, East India Company, were from Calcutta. Muddulakrishna, editor of the magazine Jwala, wrote dialogues for the first time for this movie. This was the first movie even for music director Aswathama. This is also the movie in which we see Relangi as the comedian hero. This is again the movie in which AM Raja entered the film world as a play back singer and an actor of a major role. This is thus a movie with so many firsts.

April 7th, 2006

Singeetham Srinivasa RaoAbout Singeetham Srinivasa Rao

Singeetham Srinivasa Rao began his career behind the screen as an assistant to KV Reddy and naturally worked in the direction department of Annapurna Pictures. He is a director with taste and ideas. Though an assistant of KV Reddy, he surpasses his master in taking shots, technique and in the presentation of the story. He has an artistic bent of mind and is highly imaginative. He is very knowledgeable about movies. He is a keen observer of the cinematic trends at home and abroad and makes an in depth study of these matters. Being a storywriter, he as a director gets involved in the treatment of the story and its presentation on the screen. He has very good taste for music. Annapurna Pictures produced 'Pilla Zamindar' under his direction. ANR acted in 'Vasanta Geetham,' which he directed. He has a 'hurt none, be pleasant' attitude. He has directed quite a few movies in Kannada too.

Sobhan Babu As Lord Siva

'Paramanandayya Sishyula Katha' is the first movie in which Sobhan Babu appears as Lord Siva. After the release of 'Veerabhimanyu' in which Sobhan Babu played the title role, Sobhan did not get any more offers. He was going round in search of offers and had difficulty getting enough even to eat. The offer of Siva's role in 'Paramanandayya Sishyula Katha,' which would require a day and a night's work, came as a boon. With his make up on as he entered the sets, someone threw a snake around his neck. As it moved about, he sweated, as he was frightened. Director C. Pullaiah mildly chided him with the words, Lord Siva being in the Himalayas, would never sweat. He controlled his fear and completed his action. As every snake died because of the heat of the light, another snake was brought. All that he got for this strenuous job was just Rs. 1500/-. He acted Lord Siva's role again in 'Somavara Vratha Mahatmyam' and 'Devalayam'.

April 3rd, 2006

DasariDasari - A Versatile Genius

Dasari Narayana Rao is a versatile genius. He is a storyteller, dialogue writer, lyricist, director, actor, good technician, and great organizer all rolled into one. He is too busy all the time perhaps because he wants people to think that he is busy, may be because he wants to be busy, who knows, because he wants to be always in demand, or perhaps because he feels that he can do more than others. Certainly his being too busy caused him a lot of damage. His 'Devadasu Malli Puttadu' is a very good production but unfortunately a flop. His notable other directorial ventures are Edantustala Meda, Srivari Muchchatlu and Bahudoorapu Batasari. He directed for Annapurna Pictures Buchchi Babu, Premabhishekam and Yuvaraju. Of the three 'Premabhishekam' proved a hit.

His 200th movie 'Megha Sandesam' has won many awards and certificates of appreciation. Being sentimental, he can improvise sequences very well and give them a good finish. He is an intellectual, full of ideas. If he had directed fewer movies and had reduced his activities, he would have been a still more successful director. The movies he directed and in which ANR acted are: Devadasu Malli Puttadu, Ravanude Ramudaithe, Edantustala Meda, Buchchi Babu, Srivari Muchchatlu, Premabhishekam, Premamandiram, Ragadeepam, Megha Sandesam, Yuvaraju, Urantha Sankranthi, Ramudu Kadu Krishnudu, Bahudoorapu Batasari, Justice Chakravarthi, etc..

On S. Varalakshmi

Born in Jaggampeta near Kakinada, S. Varalakshmi is a born singer and showed keen interest in music from her childhood. She made her debut as a child artiste in 'Bala Yogini' followed by 'Seva Sadan' in Tamil. She acted as a child actor in a Hindi movie 'Prem Sagar' too. Ramabrahmam offered her the heroine's role in 'Maya Lokam'. She then acted as Maguva Manchala opposite Nageswara Rao in the hero Balachandra's role in 'Palnati Yuddham'. She sang the songs for the movie too. She secured a firm place in films as a singer actor with the success of the film released in 1947. In 'Balaraju' too she teamed with ANR and the film went on to its twenty-fifth week in most theatres. The songs in the movie rang in the ears of people for quite a long time. She starred in a number of Tamil movies too. She sang in a concert on the occasion of the marriage of ANR.

The Tamil version of Balaraju got her as much fame as did Balaraju. She was awarded the state award as the best actress. 'Jeevitham' in which she starred ran on for two hundred days. For her songs in 'Veerapapandya Kattabomman' in which she acted the lead role with Sivaji Ganesan, she received a certificate of appreciation inscribed in gold. Her performances in Kannamba's Raja Rajeswari banner movies Sati Sakkubai, Naga Panchami and Sri Krishna Tulabhaaram brought her great fame. She distinguished herself as a great artiste for her portrayal of the role of Satyabhama in 'Tulabharam'. She introduced to films Balamuralikrishna in her own production 'Sati Savithri'. She selected eight music directors for the movie. She produced the films 'Veera Bhaskarudu' in Telugu and Kannada, and 'Babruvahan' in Telugu. She acted also in Sri Venkateswara Mahatmyam, Krishnaprema and Maha Mantri Timmarasu. 'Sathya Harishchandra' is her last movie as a heroine. She appeared in NTR's Ummadi Kutumbam, Dana Veera Sura Karna and Chanakya Chandragupta. Her last Telugu movie is Krishna's production 'Neti Bharatham'. Her husband was AL Srinivasan, brother of Kannadasan. After his death, she stopped acting.