'Kotha kadha cheppalante, easy ga cheppali. Adhe andariki arthamayye kadha ayithe kothaga cheppochu'. That is, a new story should be told in a simple manner, but a story that can be easily understood should be told in a new way. This motto led young director Deepak Reddy to make an unconventional short film, Manasanamaha. This 16-minute romantic drama uses cinematography techniques that are rarely found in Tollywood. Yielding results for his motto, the short film has won more than 500 accolades across the globe, including Best Short Film at the Indian Film Festival Melbourne, in the span of 10 months since its release.
For any viewer, it would be evident that there is nothing new in the story of Manasanamaha. It's about a typical man and his three past relationships with women, whom he terms as three different seasons. However, to run through these relationships, the director uses point of view shots to tell the story and involve the viewer. Until we are a few minutes into the story, we don't even see the lead. And the viewer is taken from the end to the beginning through a reverse screenplay.
Now, with all the film jargon, one might wonder under which veteran director Deepak has trained. To oneâ€™s surprise, most of his knowledge comes through YouTube tutorials. He has not had any formal education when it comes to filmmaking or editing. Deepak, a B Tech graduate who passed out in 2014, left his job in the US after working as a production assistant for the Sai Pallavi and Varun Tej starrer Fidaa, a film for which much of the shooting happened in the US. He says his interest in movies is what pushed him towards filmmaking.
â€śI am a film buff and watch a lot of films. I used to wonder how some of those shots were made and what kind of techniques were used. So, I started learning filmmaking through YouTube and experimented. However, when it came to reverse screenplays, there were not many tutorials. It took almost one year for me to finish the project with all the research as it was completely different, but somehow we pulled it off,â€ť recalls Deepak.
This innovative film has also grabbed the attention of top filmmakers like Sukumar and Gautam Vasudev Menon, who have showered appreciation for Deepak. Meanwhile, the short film has also been selected for screening at UK film festivals such as the Crystal Palace Film festival, Oxford Film Festival and others. The film is currently not available on YouTube since the rules at some festivals don't permit it.
https://t.co/mosm35emxJâ€” Gauthamvasudevmenon (@menongautham) June 26, 2020
A film I really liked and thought it should be put out and shared. Loved the filmmakers attitude and style. All the best Deepak!
I just watched a beautiful short film #Manasanamaha. @deepuzoomout youâ€™ve done a really good job with this one. â™Ąď¸Ź Congratulations and I want to say all the very best for the future. Make us all proud.â€” Rashmika Mandanna (@iamRashmika) April 26, 2020
This is my dear friend@deepuzoomoutâ€” thaman S (@MusicThaman) March 28, 2020
First short film which was made with a longer heart â™Ąď¸Ź
I fell in love with it the time I saw
hope u all will Like it tooo .
Enjoy this guys
Here is #manasanamaha to u all https://t.co/c88MyCVM6N
â€śSome of the techniques that I used, like point of view shots, are usually limited to horror and thriller movies, but I thought why can't we use it to tell a love story. I wanted people to personify the character and experience it,â€ť adds Deepak.
Deepak adds that his obsession with the reverse screenplay started with the Tamil song 'Neela Vaanam' from Kamal Hassan's Manmadhan Ambu, which is shot in reverse.
Deepak's family, which is settled in Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region, is from an academic background. He is the only one who is into filmmaking. With his learnings from YouTube, Deepak has made three short films as of now, which includes Manasanamaha that has got global recognition.