Chandra Pemmaraju, director of Love, Lies and Seeta, talks about how tough it was convincing people to believe in his idea
If you are an aspiring indie filmmaker, New York is the place to be. Chandra Pemmaraju, the director of Love, Lies and Seeta, explored some never before seen locales in New York City. Although the shooting was wrapped up in 28 days, Chandra confesses that they were always falling short of funds. “It was a really tough task. If at all I could raise the required funds, I would have completed the film a year ago and I probably would have had more time to look at the creative aspects in detail,” Chandra says adding, “even when I was shooting I was thinking of how to get the shoot going for the next 15 days. I used to go for shoot in the morning, come back and email various people explaining our project hoping that they would invest.”
The toughest part, however, was convincing people that Love, Lies and Seeta was not a Bollywood film. “When you are outside India, the moment you say an Indian film, it’s nothing but Bollywood for people. They expect a ridiculous story line with song and dance. I wanted to make an Indian film with American sensibilities, which may not go well with Indians but might appeal to international audience. It was tough convincing people and I am not sure if they saw what I had envisioned, but most of them just funded the project as they saw genuine effort,” Chandra recalls. His most important learning experience was that a filmmaker needs a dedicated team to work towards the same goal right from day one.
Now that the film has released in India, apart from being selected at several film festivals, he can heave a sigh of relief. So what kept him going back when he was filming Love, Lies and Seeta? “There were many days when I was cursing myself that I had this bug to make a film and why I didn’t stick to a 9-6 job earning decent pay. It irks you especially when your friends look at you like you’re some failure working towards a lost cause. But in the end, challenges are what kept me and my team going,” Chandra signs off.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.