Raj and DK recently announced their initiative, D2R Indie, to help upcoming filmmakers through. It’s a branch of their production house that not only invests in independent films but also mentors first-time directors. The trailer of their first film as producers, Cinema Bandi, has just dropped.
It opens with shots of people in a small village being curious about a camera that was left behind by someone. And just as crowds used to gather around people with point-and-click cameras much before smartphones, everyone gathers around the camera. Armed with a camera the new filmmakers ask themselves if the same camera was used to make films with Mahesh Babu and Pawan Kalyan, why can’t they make their own film? Having seized the means of production, they energetically set out to find actors.
It’s hilarious how arbitrary, misguided, and yet infectiously earnest they are as they fumble their way through the basics of filmmaking. We don’t even learn their names. They could be any of us with a camera. In fact, the trailer says that ‘everyone is a filmmaker at heart.’
We get snippets of their filmmaking experiences. A guy taking a dump behind a bush bombs a shot they work so hard to set up. They reason that it’s better to cast a studious girl as a heroine because she would memorize her lines faster. The trailer is full of such endearing examples of the supreme confidence of a newbie. In fact, the film celebrates it.
Our ‘filmmakers’ dream about how all the wealth from their filmmaking could change their entire village. It feels like a parody of many film industries with their preoccupation with stars and delusions about its own capacity to cause social change. Fittingly, the trailer ends with a little boy getting upset when he’s forced to say that Maridesh Babu (the protagonist of the film in the film) is his favorite hero. It looks like the film captures not just the travails of not just film filmmakers but also the audience.
Cinema Bandi is directed by Praveen Kandregula and produced by Raj & DK. Story is by Vasanth Maringanti and screenplay by Praveen Kandregula, Krishna Prathyusha and Vasanth Maringanti. The film’s music is composed by Sirish Satyavolu with cinematography by Apoorva Shaligram & Sagar YVV. The film drops on Netflix on 14th May.