Y. V. S. Chowdary
Y. V. S. Chowdary
Chowdary on sets of Rey
Yalamanchili Venkata Satyanarayana Chowdary
23 May 1965
|Occupation||Screenwriter, Director, Producer, Distributor, Exhibitor, Music Company Owner|
|Years active||1998 – Present|
|Children||Yuktha Chowdary, Ektha Chowdary|
Yalamanchili Venkata Satyanarayana Chowdary is an Indian Telugu cinema writer, director, producer, distributor, exhibitor and a music company owner. He made his debut as a director in 1998 with the film Sri Sita Ramula Kalyanam Chootamu Raarandi produced by Akkineni Nagarjuna under "Great India Entertainments". He then directed Seetharama Raju starring Nagarjuna and Nandamuri Harikrishna, Yuvaraju starring Mahesh Babu. He then established his own production house "Bommarillu Vari" and started producing his own directorials with Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo. Later, he directed Seetayya, Devadasu, Okka Magaadu, Saleem, Rey. Among these, Saleem is the only film which is not from his production house. He has directed nine films till date. In 2012, he produced Nippu starring Ravi Teja under the direction of Gunasekhar.
Chowdary says he entered Telugu film industry with inspiration of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. He introduced Venkat, Chandini and Chandu with his debut film Sri Sita Ramula Kalyanam Chootamu Raarandi, Aditya Om and Ankitha with Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo, Ram Pothineni and Ileana with Devadasu, Sai Dharam Tej and Saiyami Kher with Rey.
Chowdary was born on 23 May 1965 at Gudiwada of Krishna district as a last child to the couple Yalamanchili Narayana Rao and Ratnakumari. His father was a truck driver and mother was a housewife. His family was of lower middle class and his parents were uneducated. But his father could make a signature. Chowdary has an elder sister and an elder brother. He had a friend AV Rao who was from an affluent family. Chowdary and Rao together watched films of their favorite actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao whenever Rao gets his pocket money of 50 rupees.
Chowdary was a good student in his schooldays. He stood first at school level in 6th and 7th standards and he stood first at Gudiwada town level in 8th standard. During 9th standard, he formed "NTR Fans Association" at Gudiwada and held its president position. After that, Chowdary never topped but stood at distinction level. He used to collect money from fans of Rao and decorate his cutouts and theaters where his films were exhibited. He stated in an interview that he watched Rao's film Vetagaadu for 59 times out of 62 days of its exhibition at Gudiwada
During 9th standard, Chowdary started watching films of other actors than NTR and used to analyze them. His analysis impressed fans of all actors when they assemble in a park at Gudiwada. His predictions about films' collections and days of run were true most of the time. On observing this capability, his friend RVR suggested him to direct films. "That was the first instance where the seed of movie-direction was sown into my mind", Chowdary stated in an interview. Chowdary's brother neglected his studies by spending much time watching NTR's films which made him assist his father. On seeing this, Chowdary decided not to neglect studies and joined a college at Gudiwada to pursue Intermediate. He got a rank of 1400 in EAMCET which was insufficient to get an admission for Engineering in Andhra Pradesh. On his merit, he joined an engineering college at Madras.
At Madras, Chowdary had neighbors working in film editing department. He had an opportunity to accompany them and observe the craft closely. He was in the first year of engineering when he decided to drop out from his studies. "Why should I waste my time for three more years by studying engineering? If I join films, I can learn a lot in those three years", Chowdary stated in an interview.
Early years and struggle
Chowdary's friends in editing department suggested him to join as an assistant to an editor to master the craft. That was when he joined as an assistant to editor "Narasimha Rao", with whom he worked for a Tamil film dubbed into Telugu as "Bhayankara Khoonikoru". This film was produced by "Triveni Beetle Nut" company. The film was later renamed as "Top Tucker" as censor board raised an objection for the former title. It was the first time Chowdary's name appeared on screen. Narasimha Rao then got an opportunity to edit a direct Telugu film "Aggi Pidugu" under the direction of Giridhar, starring Giri Babu and Kannada actor V. Ravichandran. Chowdary got an opportunity to work as an assistant director for this film, on recommendation of Narasimha Rao. During this period of time, Chowdary beared his food and traveling expenses. "I didn't want to become a burden for the producers who were making low budget film and also I went there to learn work primarily", he stated in an interview.
While working as an assistant editor, Chowdary informed his parents that he is working on a part-time job and asked them to send rice bags instead of money. During that time, lunch at a nearby restaurant was of 3 rupees and in a restaurant 10 kilometers away was of 2.50 rupees. To save that 50 paise, Chowdary walked 10 kilometers everyday. To save time and energy, he would wait there till evening and return home after having dinner. To skip breakfast, he used to wake up late in the mornings.
Chowdary is a big fan of K. Raghavendra Rao, who directed several successful films with his favorite actor Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. He approached him and expressed his interest of working with him. But Rao asked him to meet after a year. Chowdary stood near Rao's house at 7AM in the morning and 6PM in the evening everyday to grab his attention, for a week. During that time, he had a good rapport with "Babai" who works in Rao's house and belonged to Gudiwada. Babai wanted to check Chowdary's handwriting and asked him to write something in English, Hindi and Telugu languages. He was impressed by Chowdary's handwriting and introduced him to Rao. Rao, who observed Chowdary for a week verified his handwriting by making him write in his presence. That's when Chowdary got an opportunity to work with Rao for Pattabhishekam starring Nandamuri Balakrishna. "Handwriting was very important for an assistant director during those days", Chowdary remembered in an interview.
Post Pattabhishekam, Chowdary continuously worked for Raghavendra Rao's films Kaliyuga Pandavulu, Sahasa Samrat, Agni Putrudu, Donga Ramudu, Janaki Ramudu, Rudranetra and Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari. Chowdary was the only assistant of Rao who had continuous work while other assistants didn't. While working with Rao, Chowdary had a good rapport with lyricist Veturi Sundararama Murthy who introduced him to producer Aswani Dutt during the time of Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari. Dutt promised Chowdary that he would give an opportunity to direct a film in his production house Vyjayanthi Movies. He also insisted that Chowdary has to work as a co-director for upcoming films in his production house. Seeking the consent of Raghavendra Rao, Chowdary shifted to Vyjayanthi Movies and worked for Aswamedham directed by Rao starring Nandamuri Balakrishna and Shobhan Babu. During that period of time, Dutt announced a film with Chowdary. But with Aswamedham being a flop, Chowdary was unable to get the opportunity. Later, he worked for Govinda Govinda directed by Ram Gopal Varma starring Akkineni Nagarjuna and Sridevi in Dutt's production house. Govinda Govinda was also a flop and it became impossible for Chowdary to direct a film in Vyjayanthi Movies.
After Govinda Govinda, Chowdary expressed his interest of working in Bollywood with Aswani Dutt and asked him to recommend to someone. Dutt introduced him to producer K. S. Rama Rao who was making Criminal with Hindi film director Mahesh Bhatt, starring Akkineni Nagarjuna, in his production house Creative Commercials. Chowdary worked for both Hindi and Telugu versions of Criminal. Later, he got a call from Krishna Vamsi to work for his debut film Gulabi. Chowdary and Vamsi worked for Govinda Govinda together. After Gulabi, Chowdary got a call from Dutt again to work for a film "Bhooloka Veerudu" directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, starring Chiranjeevi. As that film was shelved in the middle, Chowdary stepped out of Vyjayanthi Movies completely.
Breakthrough: Sri Sitaramula Kalyanam Chutamu Rarandi (1998)
Chowdary had an ability of predicting a film's result even though it is in making stage. Most of the times, his predictions were true. When Aswani Dutt, producer of Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari asked about its result, Chowdary said it would be a huge success and that prediction was true. He predicted Aswamedham and Govinda Govinda would be flops and that predictions were also true. Dutt conveyed this to Akkineni Nagarjuna and Ram Gopal Varma. When they questioned, Chowdary defended with his analysis which impressed Nagarjuna. He promised Chowdary that he would give him a directing opportunity if Govinda Govinda becomes successful. As Chowdary predicted, it turned out to be a flop. Nagarjuna then asked Chowdary to predict the future of Criminal. He said that would not work for Telugu Cinema audiences because protagonist himself runs as a fugitive rather than taking revenge for his wife's murder, in that film. Nagarjuna promised him again that he would give him a directing opportunity if Criminal becomes successful. But that turned out to be a flop too, as Chowdary predicted. Nagarjuna told that he would give him a directing opportunity if his judgement about films goes well.
During that time, Chowdary approached other people for a directing opportunity. Firstly, he approached Rajasekhar and then Chiranjeevi who was planning to act in a film directed by Upendra. Later, he approached Venkatesh, Jagapathi Babu, D. Ramanaidu, Paritala Ravi and J. D. Chakravarthy but nothing worked out. When he approached actor Srikanth, he rejected without listening to the story saying he was busy with other commitments. On seeing Pawan Kalyan, Chowdary felt he was different from other actors and approached him with his story. Chiranjeevi, Naga Babu and Allu Aravind listened to story planned for Kalyan and asked Chowdary to find a producer, which didn't happen. During that time, Chowdary didn't have a way to approach Nandamuri Balakrishna.
Meanwhile, Krishna Vamsi called Chowdary to work for Ninne Pelladatha starring Akkineni Nagarjuna and Tabu. But Chowdary rejected the offer saying his presence might make Nagarjuna feel uncomfortable as he predicted his two previous films would be flops. But Vamsi spoke to Nagarjuna and he accepted thus letting Chowdary working for the film. Chowdary predicted the film would be successful and Nagarjuna promised again that he would give him a directing opportunity if the film becomes successful. As predicted, film became successful and Nagarjuna announced a film with Chowdary as director. Thus, Chowdary's debut film Sri Sitaramula Kalyanam Chutamu Rarandi started with Nagarjuna as producer in "Great India Entertainments" production house.
Chowdary wanted new actors for his debut film and Nagarjuna accepted his request. He opted Venkat - Chandini as lead pair and senior actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao for a prominent role. During that time, Nagarjuna's friends advised him that film with new actors would not work. As an example Chowdary showed Tene Manasulu, which was made with the then debut actors Krishna, Ram Mohan and was successful. At the time of release, Sri Sitaramula Kalyanam Chutamu Rarandi had a competition with senior directors' films like Paradesi directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, Kalyana Praptirastu directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and Sindhooram directed by Krishna Vamsi. While rest were flops, Chowdary's debut film, released on 26 June 1998 was successful which brought him 26 offers from different producers.[better source needed]
Seetharama Raju, Yuvaraju (1999 - 2000)
After the success of first film, Akkineni Nagarjuna gave Chowdary an opportunity to direct him and that turned out to be his second film Seetharama Raju. It was produced by Nagarjuna and D. Siva Prasad Reddy jointly under "Great India Entertainments" and "Kamakshi Movies" production houses. With the rapport Chowdary had with Nandamuri Harikrishna while working for Pattabhishekam, he approached him to play the role of Nagarjuna's brother in his film. As Harikrishna appeared in a guest role in Sri Ramulayya directed by N. Shankar before, he accepted the role in Seetharama Raju. At the time of release, this film had a tough competition with Samarasimha Reddy directed by B. Gopal and Antahpuram directed by Krishna Vamsi, made on similar backdrop of factionism. Besides this, Harikrishna stepped out of Telugu Desam Party and established Anna Telugu Desam Party prior to one week of film's release. This caused a major separation in NTR fans and followers. But Seetharama Raju, released on 5 February 1999 crossed all these hurdles and was successful. That brought Chowdary 13 offers from different producers.
Chowdary approached Mahesh Babu and narrated him a story. By that time Babu's debut film Raja Kumarudu was not released. He accepted to work with Chowdary by listening to story for half an hour. That became Yuvaraju, Chowdary's third film. Though he wanted to opt new actresses as female leads he had to cast established actresses Simran and Sakshi Shivanand opposite Babu due to various reasons. The film released on 14 April 2000 didn't do as expected at box office but distributors had their profits. "Yuva Raju didn't work well because it didn't have required advertising. No audience will see the movie without proper advertising", Chowdary said in an interview.
As Yuvaraju got delayed in shooting, a rumor was spread against Chowdary that he delayed the film just to increase its budget. Due to this, he didn't have a single offer among 26 and 13 that came after first and second films respectively. He claimed that all the rumors against him were baseless in an interview.
Turning into producer: Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo (2002)
With Yuvaraju not fulfilling expectations and no producer turned up, Chowdary decided to start his own production house to defy the rumors against him. He established a production house "Bommarillu Vaari" and started working on a film with a backdrop of love stories of four couples of various age groups. He opted Nandamuri Harikrishna, who failed by contesting in elections on behalf of his Anna Telugu Desam Party, in a lead role which was strongly opposed by his friends who were willing to invest in the film. As Chowdary was inclined towards casting Harikrishna, all his friends took a back step. Chowdary then started production of the film by mortgaging his house. He named the film as Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo after the title of a song from popular Telugu film Mayabazar directed by K. V. Reddy.
Chowdary faced many hurdles during the production of the film. Production had to be halted due to health issues of various actors and accidents to crew members. He had to bear all the expenses being a producer hence budget and production time were increased. There were instances where his own crew used to bet that this film would not be released, even if it does it would be a flop. But Chowdary was so confident on the film that he wanted to organize its 100 days event at his hometown Gudiwada. With the help of Ramoji Rao, chairman of Eenadu Group, film was released on 1 May 2002 and Gemini Kiran helped in marketing it. The film became successful and ran for 100 days and he organized the event at Gudiwada.
In an interview, Chowdary stated that R. Narayana Murthy, who established "Sneha Chitra" and E. V. V. Satyanarayana, who established E. V .V. Cinema inspired him for establishing "Bommarillu Vaari" production house.
Later years (2003 - present)
In 100 days event of Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo, Chowdary announced that Nandamuri Harikrishna would act in his next film Seetayya as a solo hero and revealed its poster in the same event. This film was released on 22 August 2003 and became successful. Even during the release of Seetayya, Chowdary announced that its 100 days event would be held at Anantapur on 1 December 2003 which couldn't be held due to famine.
After Seetayya, Chowdary approached some actors to cast in his next film but nothing materialized. When he met Sravanthi Ravi Kishore, he happened to see and liked the photos of his nephew Ram Pothineni. He chose Ram as the lead in his next film Devadasu. He selected Ileana, the then Fair and Lovely model, opposite Ram. Devadasu was released on 11 January 2006 and became a blockbuster with a gross collection of 17 crores. It completed its 175 days run in 17 centers and completed 205 days in Odeon 70mm theater at Hyderabad, in a single run.
During the post production of Devadasu, Chowdary approached Nandamuri Balakrishna and narrated a story. Balakrishna liked the story and that became Okka Magaadu. It was released on 11 January 2008 amidst high expectations and collected 7 crores on first day. There were even instances where tickets of this film were sold for higher prices in black at some theaters of Hyderabad. Unable to reach expectations, this film became a flop and most of the theaters were seen vacant after the first week of release.
Chowdary then directed Saleem starring Manchu Vishnu, Ileana and Mohan Babu in prominent roles. It was produced by Mohan Babu in his production house Sree Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures. This was the only film Chowdary didn't produce after establishing his own production house. It was released on 12 December 2009 and failed to get appreciation from audiences and critics.
In 2012, Chowdary produced the film Nippu under the direction of Gunasekhar, starring Ravi Teja and Deeksha Seth. Chowdary and Ravi Teja shared same room and Gunasekhar lived in another floor of same building at Madras, during their trails in film industry. This film was released on 17 February 2012. Though it got good openings it turned out to be a flop later.
In 2010, Chowdary launched the film Rey introducing Chiranjeevi's nephew Sai Dharam Tej and Saiyami Kher as lead actors. He wanted to release the film in summer of 2011 but it didn't happen due to some reasons. The release was then postponed to 2013 but it didn't happen too. Finally, the film was released on 27 March 2015. Meanwhile, Tej's second film Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham directed by A. S. Ravikumar Chowdary was released. However, Rey became a flop.
Chowdary is now in trails of launching his next film with debut actors again.
While working as an assistant director, Chowdary was able to save 50,000 rupees. At the time of working for Janaki Ramudu, he sent that saved money to his parents as his sister's marriage was planned. That was when Chowdary informed his parents that he is working as assistant director. While working for Ninne Pelladata, Chowdary liked actress Geetha who played the role of Akkineni Nagarjuna's sister. With mutual consent, they both wanted to get married but Chowdary's parents were not willing to accept for an inter-caste marriage. Later, he convinced them and married Geetha. She also acted in Sindhooram opposite Ravi Teja.
Chowdary had a good personal rapport with Nandamuri Harikrishna from the time of Pattabhishekam, as the latter was the producer of that film. Harikrishna took Chowdary along with him to many places personally. "He was the person who thought me etiquettes of star hotels. I never know how to use forks", Chowdary remembered his relationship with Harikrishna in an interview. After the success of Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo, Chowdary held a function at a place where Harikrishna contested and failed in elections, to show the following he had.
Chowdary is a big fan of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao whom he claims as his inspiration to enter into films. Every film produced in his production house "Bommarillu Vaari" starts with a prayer song on Rao by showing his picture on screen. It ends showing his picture again. The prayer song was written, composed and sung by music director M. M. Keeravani.
Chowdary started an audio company "Yuktha Music" named after his elder daughter Yuktha and released the audio of Devadasu as the first album through it. He printed a 36 paged and 24 paged special invitations for film launch and audio launch events of Devadasu respectively.
Chowdary purchased "Gopala Krishna" theater at Gudiwada. He renovated it and renamed it as "Bommarillu" after his production house. It is the first theater at Gudiwada with AC and DTS technologies. He exhibited Okka Magaadu as the first film in it.
Nandamuri Harikrishna became a commercially successful actor at the age of 48 with Seetayya, directed by Chowdary. Present day popular Telugu Cinema actors Ram Pothineni, Ileana and Sai Dharam Tej were introduced by Chowdary.
|Year||Film||Cast||Music Director||Date of Release||Notes||Ref(s)|
|1998||Sri Sita Ramula Kalyanam Chootamu Raarandi||Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Venkat, Chandini||M. M. Keeravani||26 June 1998||[better source needed]|
|1999||Seetharama Raju||Akkineni Nagarjuna, Nandamuri Harikrishna, Sakshi Shivanand, Sanghavi||M. M. Keeravani||5 February 1999|||
|2000||Yuvaraju||Mahesh Babu, Simran, Sakshi Shivanand||Ramana Gogula||14 April 2000|||
|2002||Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo||Nandamuri Harikrishna, Aditya Om, Ankitha||M. M. Keeravani||1 May 2002||Also producer|||
|2003||Seetayya||Nandamuri Harikrishna, Soundarya, Simran||M. M. Keeravani||22 August 2003||Also producer|||
|2006||Devadasu||Ram, Ileana D'Cruz||Chakri||11 January 2006||Also producer|||
|2008||Okka Magaadu||Nandamuri Balakrishna, Simran, Anushka Shetty, Nisha Kothari||Mani Sharma||11 January 2008||Also producer|||
|2009||Saleem||Vishnu Manchu, Ileana D'Cruz, Mohan Babu||Sandeep Chowta||12 December 2009||Only film Chowdary didn't produce after turning into producer|||
|2012||Nippu||Ravi Teja, Deeksha Seth||S. Thaman||17 February 2012||Only producer, this film is directed by Gunasekhar|||
|2015||Rey||Sai Dharam Tej, Saiyami Kher||Chakri||27 March 2015||Also producer|||
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