Run, directed by Lakshmikanth Chenna and starring Navdeep and Pujita Ponnada, is touted to be the first Telugu OTT-original film. The psychological thriller will première on May 29 on Aha.
Lakshmikanth is looking forward to seeing how viewers respond to the film as this is the first such initiative in Telugu, where a feature film was made for an OTT platform. “It wasn’t like we made the film and due to COVID-19 situation, opted for a digital release. In fact, we had worked on the film and were planning to première it late March, but the digital intermediate and a few other post production tasks took time since people began working from home in March,” says Lakshmikanth.
Run was conceptualised as an eight-episode web series and the team had shot a couple of them. While showcasing it to the creative team at Aha, which included actor Allu Arjun, the opinion was that Run could be a feature film that’s suitable for OTT platform.
The scripting process and pre-production, says Lakshmikanth, is tougher for a film that intends to draw the attention of OTT viewers. “A typical graph of a mainstream commercial film warrants an introduction, songs, comedy and action with an important pre-interval segment. A film meant for an online audience needs a tighter script, irrespective of the genre, so that people don’t move away from their laptop/television. If a story gets boring at any point, viewers will fast forward the film to see where it’s going,” he says.
Once the script was finalised, the team did pre-production for three months and shot the entire film in 24 days: “Financial resources need to be used well. You can’t go to the sets and then think about shot division or the dialogues. Everything has to be planned,” says the director.
Produced by Krish Jagarlamudi and Rajeev Reddy of First Frame Entertainment, Run has cinematographer Sajeesh Rajendran and music composer Naresh Kumaran on board. Lakshmikanth reveals the broad plotline: “The story is about a doting couple and what happens when the wife is murdered. The husband becomes a suspect but he tries to find out who killed his wife,” he sums up.
(Run will begin streaming on Aha from May 29)