Abhishek Nama, producer of the upcoming Telugu film Saakshyam, talks to Padma Iyer about the movie, being a part of such an ambitious project and more.
How did you get on board Saakshyam?
We have been associated with the movie business for over three decades. In the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions, we have distributed more than 150 films in the last 34 years. We have noticed that, every few years, there are a couple of films that are concept-based and are well received by the audience. We always wanted to make such a film. And when director Sriwass narrated the script, we knew this was what we wanted to make. It is something that has not been seen on the screen before. It is concept-driven and at the same time has all the elements of a commercial entertainer. It will appeal to audiences across centres, from A centres to C centres.
What attracted you to the script?
As I mentioned, we always wanted to make a film that was concept-based. And in this case I was intrigued by the pancha bhoota – the five elements concept. It was Sreenivas who discovered this script, and from the way it was written and conceptualised, I knew this was an interesting film to make.
It is a revenge drama but what makes it different is the way the story unfolds. The hero is helped by the five elements of nature to take his revenge and achieve what he set out to do. So we have five episodes culminating in five climaxes; one for each element of nature.
Given the unique nature of this story, did you do anything differently while promoting the film?
There are two things we did to promote the film. Since the pancha bhoota idea is integral to the plot, it was something we always kept at the forefront while talking about our film. And the second thing – and it is something I am very proud of – is a 12-minute song that we recorded. This song, Shivam Shivam, is featured in bits and pieces all through the film’s background score. We have songs that praise different gods and goddesses but I think this is the first song that celebrates the five elements of nature.
It talks about how every element connects with our life. For example, we start our life with a breath of air and it ends when we breathe no more. Similarly, we are born from the warmth of the mother’s womb and life ends in the pyre. We take our first steps on land and no matter how far we walk, we end on six feet of earth. The song has been sung by five amazing singers – K J Yesudas, S P Balasubrahmanyam, Bombay Jayashree, Hariharan and Kailash Kher.
As a producer, how involved were you with the film?
For a film of this level, there is quite a bit of financial commitment. But I did not work like an ATM. I was with the film right from the script stage till the final product. You see, I believed in the script so much that I was not worried about doing everything I could to make this film happen. We have shot in some amazing locations not because we wanted to, but because the script demanded that we did.
For a story of this kind, a certain kind of output is needed. We have not compromised on that. The director shared everything with me and of course Sreenivas has given his all for the film. He has taken the film to the next level. And above all this was team effort. A movie on such a scale would not be possible without the effort of everyone on board.
What do you want the audience to take back from the film?
There is a message in this film. We think we can get away with a mistake if no one is watching us. But there is always a karma sakshi that is watching us all the time. It is not bound by time and has existed forever. You may call it nature or karma or God. I want the audience to appreciate this concept and I am confident that they will, especially since it is presented as a complete commercial entertainer with action, romance and comedy.