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Diamondweapon

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Filmography
Veerabhadrudu (1984) - Karthik, Vijayashanthi, Madala Rangarao, Jyothy (Tamil remake)
Jwala (14/07/1985) - Chiranjeevi, Bhanupriya, Radhika
Tiger Prabhakar - Kannada Prabhakar
Punyasthree (1986) - Karthik, Rajendra Prasad, Bhavya (Tamil remake)
Konaseema Kurrodu (1986) - Arjun, Bhanupriya
Krishna Leela (1987) - Kalyan Chakravarthy, Ramyakrishna, Mohan Babu
Chakravarthy (04/06/1987) - Chiranjeevi, Bhanupriya, Mohan Babu
Nammina Bantu (1987) - Muralimohan, Rajani (Kannada remake)
Donga Pelli (05/02/1988) - Sobhan Babu
Anna Chellelu (02/09/1988) - Sobhan Babu, Radhika, Jeevitha
Nyaayam Kosam (1988) - Rajasekhar, Seetha
Siripuram Chinnodu (1988) - Arjun
Yamudiki Mogudu (29/04/1988) - Chiranjeevi, Vijayashanti, Radha
Yamatraade Yamaraade (1988) (Tamil dubbed verison of Yamudiki Mogudu)
Abhimanyu - Ravichandran (Kannada)
Pratibandh (28/09/1990) - Chiranjeevi, Juhi Chawla (Hindi)
Muthyamanta Muddu (1989) - Rajendra Prasad, Seetha
Yamapaasam (1989) - Rajasekhar, Deepika
Raja Vikramarka (14/11/1990) - Chiranjeevi, Radhika, Amala
Chanti (10/01/1992) - Venkatesh, Meena
Aaj Kaa Gundaraaj (10/07/1992) - Chiranjeevi, Meenakshi Seshadri
Balaramakrishnulu (07/11/1992) - Sobhan Babu, Rajasekhar, Jagapathi Babu, Srividya, Ramyakrishna, Rajivi
Kondapalli Raja (09/07/1993) - Venkatesh, Nagma, Suman
Bangaaru Bullodu (03/09/1993) - Balakrishna, Raveena Tandon, Ramyakrishna
M. Dharamaraju M.A. (1994) - Mohan Babu, Surabhi, Sujatha (Tamil remake)
S.P. Parashuram (16/06/1994) - Chiranjeevi, Sridevi
Pedarayudu (15/06/1995) - Mohan Babu, Soundarya, Bhanupriya, Rajinikant (Tamil remake)
Peddarayudu (Tamil dubbed version of Pedarayudu)
Angrakshak (17/11/1995) - Sunny Deol, Pooja Bhatt (Hindi)
Aranyam (1996) - R. Narayana Murthy, Amulya
Saradaa Bullodu (09/08/1996) - Venkatesh, Nagma, Sanghavi
Devudu (23/10/1997) - Balakrishna, Ramyakrishna
Rayudu (01/07/1998) - Mohan Babu, Soundarya, Rachana
Alludu Gaarocchaaru (1999) - Jagapathi Babu, Kousalya
Maa Annayya (2000) - Rajasekhar, Meena, Brahmaji, Vineeth, Maheswari, Rukmini
Subhakaryam (04/08/2001) - Rajasekhar, Naveen, Asha Saini

Adhipathi
(19/09/2001) - Mohan Babu, Priti Jhingania, Nagarjuna, Soundarya
Maa Baapu Bommaki Pellanta (16/05/2003) - Ajay Raghavendra, Gayatri Raghuram
Veede (31/10/2003) - Raviteja, Arti Agarwal, Reema Sen
K.D. No. 1 (09/07/2004) - Srihari, Ramyakrishna
Andamaina Abaddham (05/12/2008) - Raja, Kamna Jethmalani
 
Diamondweapon

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Sri: Can you tell us about your father Pinisetty Sriramamurthy gaaru who was a celebrated film writer of yesteryears?
Raviraja:
My father was born in Beechpatnam village near Narsapuram. My paternal grandfather was a court clerk who constructed a temple in his village at that time, and my paternal grandmother died when my dad was still a kid, which led to second marriage of my grandfather. My father was the youngest kid, after three sisters, of his mother. One was married and was living at Katrenipadu and the other two were married and living at Palakollu then. My dad stayed in Katrenipadu for some time and then later moved to Palakollu. He studied only until fifth class and then took up tailoring, but he continued to read lot at the local library. He started a drama company called Adarsha Natya Mandali and used to direct dramas that he wrote. Some of them even won awards back then, including Palle Paduchu (later made as a movie by B.A. Subbarao gaaru), Kulam Leni Pilla, and Aadadi (Though title suggests it's an woman-oriented subject, the beauty of the play is that it has no female character!). One of the best compliments for his plays he received was from writer D.V. Narasaraju gaaru, who said, "The beauty of your plays should be credited to you totally, as you think in Telugu and write in Telugu. meeru telugulO aalOchinchi telugudanam tOnE vraastaaru!" He knew Chalam as a part of his troupe for Palle Paduchu, and thus made a film Nithya Kalyanam-Paccha Thoranam introducing Chalam and Ramakrishna to Telugu filmdom. The film was an average fare, but L.V.Prasad gaaru remade it in Hindi later as Daadi Maa which became a big hit...

Diamondweapon

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Sri: How did you enter the field?
Raviraja:
To be honest, I was not at all interested in the field, anDii! I wanted to start some business after my graduation. Allu Aravind is a relative of mine. Thus, I went to the shooting of Bantrothu Bharya with him once. That's where I met guruvu gaaru (Dasari Narayana Rao) who enquired about me and asked me through Aravind if I could join with him as an assistant. (Dasari worked under Pinisetty before he became a director, so he calls Pinisetty as guruvu gaaru). I was not really interested and dropped that topic, but we both met again at the premiere show of the film when he asked me again. I obliged and started as his assistant for the film Devude Digi Vasthe... which was also produced by Geetha Arts.

Diamondweapon

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Sri: I remember that film - it's the only film showing Jayaprada in swimsuit as far as I know. The film was also remade in Hindi with Sanjeev Kumar in the lead role.
Raviraja:
Right! I also worked for two more films with him, Swargam-Narakam and Jyothi Baney Jwala (Hindi remake of Katakala Ruddrayya). I was unable to adjust to the atmosphere in the filmdom - so much of artificiality in the industry was suffocating to me and I left the field after that.

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Sri: That's interesting! What happened next?
Raviraja:
Satya Reddy is a good friend of mine. He wanted to start a tobacco business in Guntur and I joined him. We also did very well in that, even exporting more than two crore rupees worth of tobacco, which is a very huge amount back then!
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Sri: Do you mean to refer to the same Satya Reddy that directed films like Daaku, Dongalosthunnaru Jaagarttha!, and the brother of Dr. Mitra who was in PRP until recently?
Raviraja:
Yes, he is the one. Though the business was very successful, he was attracted to movies after couple of years and distributed films like Burripalem Bullodu and some other films that went on to become hits. He thus started concentrating more on movies than on the business. After asking him several times to concentrate on the business, but in vain, we parted ways, but I had to make a career decision. Thus, I came back to movies after four years of successful business.
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Sri: What was your comeback film?
Raviraja:
I joined guruvu gaaru (Dasari) again for the film Krishnarjunulu. While I was working for the film Zakmi Sher (Hindi version of Bobbili Puli), Jayakrishna gaaru offered me Veerabhadrudu (1984).
Diamondweapon

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Sri: That's a remake, right?
Raviraja:
Yes, Jayakrishna gaaru bought the rights of Kozhi Koovudhu (1982) directed by Gangai Amaran (Ilayaraja's brother). Karthik played the role of Suresh, Madala Rangarao did Prabhu's role, Vijayashanti did the role of Vijji and Jyothi did the role of Silk Smitha in Telugu.
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Sri: Though the film was critically acclaimed, it was a flop in Telugu, I believe...
Raviraja:
True. The film was released at the time of elections, anDii. NTR gaaru was just coming into politics then and Madala was against to him and spoke in meetings against him, etc. Not one lady was seen in the film's audience because of this! (" Cinema chooDaTaaniki okka aaDapaDuchu vastE oTTu!")
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Sri: It took almost a year before your next film Jwala (1985) came up after Veerabhadrudu...
Raviraja:
Actually, I did a Kannada film Tiger Prabhakar in that gap. The film was a huge hit and he ("Kannada" Prabhakar as Telugu audience know him) was called as Tiger Prabhakar in Kannada since then! Then Jwala happened.
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Sri: Though Jwala was a commercial hit, I feel it missed entertainment, which was possibly one of the reasons for a not-so-great success.
Raviraja:
I agree with you. There is a long story about this film. When Veerabhadrudu was released, Chiranjeevi gaaru had gone to England for a surgery on his knee. After returning, he asked Sree S.P. Venkanna Babu, who used to look after his dates back then, about my film with him. He told that the film won critical acclaim but was not a commercial success, and he also suggested my name for Chiranjeevi gaari next film on P.N.R. banner. He also agreed after watching my film and thus the credit goes to Venkanna Babu gaaru. ...About the entertainment part in the film, I had originally planned some scenes at the automobile garage between Rallapalli and Chittibabu, with popular characters of other films coming to the garage - such as the character of contractor (Rao Gopal Rao's character in Mutyala Muggu) coming out of jail along with his sidekicks ( bhajantreelu) and the character Achary (Dasari's character in Swargam-Narakam) - and I mentioned to the producer that they'd work for free if I ask but the producer was unwilling and we had to drop the comedy thus and... you know what happened.
Diamondweapon

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Sri: Following Jwaala, you made Punyasthree, which was a remake...
Raviraja:
Yes, from Tamil. While Kartik played the same role in Tamil too, we changed a lot of scenes in the original, and the film was initially very damp. I was shooting Konaseema Kurrodu in rural Andhra when the film released; I was disappointed to hear that the theaters were not full, as I expected that it'd be a big hit! I was so upset that the producer of Konaseema Kurrodu was upset with me (smiles)! The theaters were full by the second week and it went on to celebrate 100-day run in 11 centers!

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Sri: You worked with Arjun for just two films, Konaseema Kurrodu (1986) and Siripuram Chinnodu (1988)...
Raviraja:
Arjun is a wonderful person who does not have any issues. The only problem with him is that he patiently takes away all mustard seeds out of upma or peppercorn out of pongal - other than such time-taking activities, he's a gem (laughs)! When he became a director, he called me and informed me that I was his inspiration to become a director. It was really sweet of him! ...The reason we have not done any film afterwards was simply because he concentrated more on Tamil films than Telugu.

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Sri: Both Krishna Leela (1987, starring Kalyan Chakravarthy and Ramyakrishna) and Chakravarthy (1987, starring Chiranjeevi and Bhanupriya) had Mohanbabu in special roles. I think your association with him started then. And later, you gave one of the biggest blockbuster in Telugu in the form of  Pedarayudu (1995) with him. What went wrong later?
Raviraja:
In fact, Mohan Babu gaaru was already an established hero by the time he acted in important roles in those films and got a good name through them too. ...We also did M. Dharmaraju, M.A. together, and that brought him a lot of critical acclaim, though the Telugu remake version (of original Tamil flick) flopped at the box-office. ...While working on Pedarayudu, I wasn't satisifed with the scenic order and said I was not ready to do the film yet. He used to check on me daily over the phone, and finally even said that Raghavendra Rao or Kodandarami Reddy wanted to work on the film if I wouldn't do the film. I told him that I wasn't ready and he could go ahead with anyone he likes if he is in a hurry. Having not expected such a reply, he stopped calling for about a week, after which I narrated the story to him in the order I wanted to show. He liked it and we were doing the project. He initially agreed to cast Bhanupriya opposite the older Mohan Babu's role but later got opinions from people around him that she's "an iron leg" and thus he preferred Khushboo for the role while I was firm about my choice of Bhanupriya. Eventually, Rajinikant came to the sets one day, he wanted to know the star cast in the film. When I explained the situation, he called Bhanupriya right away and finalized her instantly, ignoring Mohan Babu's objection! ...I did work on Mohan Babu's banner twice after Pedarayudu - for Rayudu and Adhipati. I was totally against casting Pratyusha as the daughter, because I felt that the girl should be below 14 years of age, so that the step-mother and step-daughter between Rachana and the girl can be shown more convincingly after Mohan Babu's marriage with Rachana. When Pratyusha did the role, it looked, to me, more like two heroines fighting to be Mohan Babu's love interest! Apparently, even the audience felt it that way and the film bombed! Adhipati was a remake from Malayalam, which I didn't even want to work on. He put a lot of pressure through guruvu gaaru and others and I was forced to be the director. His characterization required that he wears cotton lungi in the film, but I was shocked to see silk lungi from Yax Tailors on the day of the shoot! ...This is just one example of our creative differences. Eventually, we didn't work after that!
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Reply with quote  #15 
Sri: You worked for three films with Late Sobhan Babu gaaru...
Raviraja:
He was one wonderful and punctual gentleman who was always on time for shooting! I directed Donga Pelli, Anna Chellelu, and Balaramakrishnulu with him. Anna Chellelu wasn't a hit, but he liked my style and recommended that his nephew Suresh, who was working in the Camera department, should be with me for all my films! Rajasekhar used to come late for shooting, during Balaramakrishnulu, and Sobhan Babu gaaru was always on time, waiting, but never even said one word against Rajasekhar!
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Reply with quote  #16 
Sri: But you're one of the directors who did maximum number of films with Rajasekhar - Nyaayam Kosam, Yamapaasam, Balaramakrishnulu, Maa Annayya, Okkadu Chaalu, Subhakaaryam, and so on...
Raviraja:
Rajasekhar used to come on time when we were working for Nyaayam Kosam and Yamapaasam. It was from Balaramakrishnulu that he started coming late!
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Reply with quote  #17 
Sri: Yamapaasam was a good film with a lot of suspense values. It has such a potential in it that you can rework on  the script to suit the current trend and remake it!
Raviraja:
It's true that is a good film, yes. Even K. Viswanath gaaru commended me  a lot after watching the film.
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Sri: Anyway, what happened between you and Rajasekhar? Producer C. Kalyan mentioned that he lost of a lot of money because of you in the film Subhakaryam! He said you troubled him a lot even after you yourself okayed that Adityaman would direct the film in your place, and that you even asked for extra payment before the film's release. What exactly happened there?
Raviraja:
Everyone in the film industry knows the reputation of C. Kalyan! His allegations are false. For reasons best known to him, he kept me waiting for Rajsekhar at the shooting. Rajasekhar never came to the shoot; he even wanted the story to be changed in such a way that it revolves around his character! Naveen's part of shoot was already completed and changing the story at such a time is not a feasible option! Amidst such troubles, C. Kalyan came to me and told that there are others who can direct the film if I cannot oblige what he says. In the heat of the argument, I said that he can do what he wishes to do, but I was shocked that Adityaman came the next day seeking my blessings! What I told Kalyan was that Rajasekhar was the one who wanted a change in the story and the director and so the hero should pay part of his remuneration to compensate for my remuneration! I am not someone who troubles others. Whatever you told is Kalyan's concoction and twisting of the truth!
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Reply with quote  #19 

Sri: Chanti was first announced with Rajendraprasad and Khushboo...
Raviraja:
At a time when I was working on story discussions for a film with Venkatesh on Yarlagadda Surendra's banner, Ramanaidu gaaru saw the Tamil film Chinna Thambi and felt that it wouldn't suit Venkatesh. K.S. Ramarao gaaru also saw the film, liked it, and felt that it'd suit Rajendra Prasad, gave him a word on the same and even announced the film with me as the director! I had enough rapport with Rajendra Prasad too and was okay to work on the project. It was all before the release of the Tamil original, and once the film was a super hit in Tamil, Suresh Babu and Venkatesh liked the film and approached K.S. Ramarao gaaru to do the film with Venkatesh. I didn't agree to it and even opted out of the project, as I thought it's not fair towards Rajendra Prasad since we already committed to him! Chiranjeevi convinced me to do the film, saying that K.S. Ramarao can simply choose someone else to direct Venkatesh for the film. I thus reluctantly agreed. ...Khushboo wasn't considered for the project.

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Sri: After the phenomenal success of Chanti, what went wrong with Kondapalli Raja and even worse Saradaa Bullodu? (K. Sathyanarayana bought remake rights for Rajinikant-starrer Tamil film Annamalai which was a remake of Krishnam Raju's Praana Snehitulu, which was a remake of the Hindi flick Khudgarz, which was in turn based on Eric Seagal's novel Kane and Abel that was made into an English film too. And, just before the release of the Telugu version of Annamalai remake, Krishnam Raju has to be compensated because he claimed that only he had the "original" remake rights! It's another story that Annamalai was also dubbed Birla Ramudu in Telugu.)
Raviraja:
You know how politics work in the film industry! What all you said about the film being a "remake of remake of remake of inspirtation" is right. I wouldn't say a word more on Kondapalli Raja. Coming to Saradaa Bullodu, the original story is not what is now in the film. We initially had a story based on rebirth by Vijayendra Verma gaaru but it was just then that the Hindi film Prem starring Sanjay Kapoor & Tabu was released with a rebirth-based story and bombed, and thus Venkatesh didn't feel confident about the story concept. He thus informed the same the produced and the story you now see on the screen was brought in. I had no say in it, and I didn't have any role in the whole ordeal.

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Sri: And, with Balakrishna you delivered a super hit like Bangaaru Bullodu (releasing it on the same day as Nippuravva) and a disaster in the form of Devudu...
Raviraja:
Balakrishna had issues with the producer of Nippuravva and the film's production was already suffering delays due to personal issues, changing the director and so on. Thus, the producer wasn't ready to postpone the release any more. V.B. Rajendra Prasad gaaru had already announced the release date for Bangaaru Bullodu and it was the other producer that chose to release on the same day. Nippuravva opened with houseful theaters for the morning show, but Bangaaru Bullodu grabbed the housefuls by matinee, thus becoming a super hit! ...I wasn't ready to release Devudu, as the editing was still going on when the producer Achanta Gopinath took the film to the Censor Board, and we saw in the newspapers that that film is going to be released in a couple of days! It was a real shock to me!! ...Balakrishna is really a nice person and I never had any issues with him. I vowed to Balakrishna during the shooting of Devudu that I'd never again work with him if that film flops... and that's why I didn't again work with him.

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Sri: What about Chiranjeevi? Jwaala, Chakravarthy, Yamudiki Mogudu, Pratibandh (Hindi), Raja Vikramarka, Aaj Kaa Gundaraaj (Hindi), and S.P. Parashuram... and what happened after that?
Raviraja:
Again, S.P. Parashuram was a disaster, and we never worked together after that.

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Sri: What went wrong after that is what I am interested to know, particularly because you are also his relative...
Raviraja:
Nothing went wrong between us is the answer (laughs). Truly, nothing happened! And actually, Chiranjeevi is relative to me through Allu's family.

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Reply with quote  #24 
Sri: Okay, I agree that you're a relative of Allu's family, and so what went wrong between you and Allu Aravind?
Raviraja:
I do not want to discuss anything personal here.
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Reply with quote  #25 
Sri: I heard that you were supposed to direct Pawan's debut film, but E.V.V. gaaru did that eventually. What happened?
Raviraja:
Actually, we planned to make film in the lines of Qayamat se Qyamat Tak But things didn't work out, and I felt Allu Aravind will not spend lavishly for the project. Thus, I opted out and informed the same to Pawan also. There is no misunderstanding on it with Pawan or anyone.
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Reply with quote  #26 
Sri: Let us talk about your other films like Rukmini, Aranyam, Nammina Bantu, Maa Bapu Bommaki Pellanta, K.D. No. 1,  and so on. What went wrong with them?
Raviraja:
Rukmini came out well and it made good money for the distributors. I lost about seven lakhs in that project, though. My original idea for Aranyam was to cast Nagendra Babu and R. Narayana Murthy but R. Narayana Murthy wanted to do a dual role and thus the film didn't work out well. Nammina Bantu, remade frm Kannada, was a complete washout. Maa Bapu Bommaki Pellanta was a super hit in Malayalam but in Telugu, the casting went wrong. With K.D. No. 1, everything went wrong! The producer wanted to do special effects, producer's wife wanted to do music, and so on, and I left the film half way through but they still used my name for publicity. I don't even count it as my film!
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Reply with quote  #27 
Sri: What have you been doing since K.D. No. 1 then?
Raviraja:
Well, I retired ...and I am spending time reading books and watching movies.
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Reply with quote  #28 
Sri: Your second son's maiden venture Oka V Chitram was a disaster and his second film (the Tamil flick Mrugam) was a shocker in Tamil (and in Telugu, through the dubbed version) as well!
Raviraja:
Actually, he has done his acting course. Jayanth Paranji and another director were in discussions with us for his debut film but guruvu gaaru said that he was doing a film with Teja and wanted to launch my son on his banner. As he is my guru, I could not say no but differences between him and Teja spoiled the project and the film was affected due to that. ...When he came and narrated the story of Mrugam, we were against it but he was adament and wanted to prove himself. He even gained weight to suit the character in the first half and worked for the film, shed down all his weight in two months with hard workouts and participated in shooting for the second half. He got critical acclaim for the film, making me particularly happy because he got it all with his hard work even without our support! He's right now working in two films in Tamil. The Telugu version of Mrugam had some posters that made people feel that it was  soft porn film, but the word of mouth spread around soon and the film picked up and ran towards 100 days in some centers!
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Reply with quote  #29 

Sri: What is your elder son Satya doing now?
Raviraja:
He is planning to direct a film now.

You are going to act as a main villain in one of Vikram�s new film in Tamil?
Yes, they offered me but I don�t know what happened to it again, they didn�t come to me again.

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Reply with quote  #30 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondweapon
Sri: Do you mean to refer to the same Satya Reddy that directed films like Daaku, Dongalosthunnaru Jaagarttha!, and the brother of Dr. Mitra who was in PRP until recently?
Raviraja:
Yes, he is the one. Though the business was very successful, he was attracted to movies after couple of years and distributed films like Burripalem Bullodu and some other films that went on to become hits. He thus started concentrating more on movies than on the business. After asking him several times to concentrate on the business, but in vain, we parted ways, but I had to make a career decision. Thus, I came back to movies after four years of successful business.



Satya Reddy Brother of Dr.Mithra anta.....This is news to me..
Diamondweapon

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Reply with quote  #31 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondweapon
Sri: Okay, I agree that you're a relative of Allu's family, and so what went wrong between you and Allu Aravind?
Raviraja:
I do not want to discuss anything personal here.



Mega Fans or Ramu sodhara....

Any idea??
Diamondweapon

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Reply with quote  #32 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondweapon
Sri: You worked for three films with Late Sobhan Babu gaaru...
Raviraja:
He was one wonderful and punctual gentleman who was always on time for shooting! I directed Donga Pelli, Anna Chellelu, and Balaramakrishnulu with him. Anna Chellelu wasn't a hit, but he liked my style and recommended that his nephew Suresh, who was working in the Camera department, should be with me for all my films! Rajasekhar used to come late for shooting, during Balaramakrishnulu, and Sobhan Babu gaaru was always on time, waiting, but never even said one word against Rajasekhar!




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Reply with quote  #33 
Pedarayudu (15/06/1995) - Mohan Babu, Soundarya, Bhanupriya, Rajinikant (Tamil remake)
Peddarayudu (Tamil dubbed version of Pedarayudu)

 
 
Why it came 2 times..? 
 
2nd one dubbed version ye kadha....malli list lo endhuku pettaru..?
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